May Song

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May is known as the “sweetest month” and it may very well be so.  May days are usually mild and gentle. The birth of spring is an extraordinary event, but can have some reckless occasions.  In May, things seem to settle .  The days are born mild and peacefully- and the hours pass like a tenderly sung  lullaby.  It is the only month that begins with  a song and dance in honor of its’ arrival.

The garden is planted at the rabbit patch.  Every year, I vow to tend a smaller one, yet I never do.  A garden is a lot of commitment.   Once someone was complaining to me about how dull life could be and about boredom.  The condition had caused  numerous problems and consequently she had ended up in some unpleasant situations.  My advice, was to plant  a garden.  A garden will present enough tasks to keep you out of all sorts of trouble.  It will take a lot of argument out of you too.  A row of tomatoes is a good place to solve a problem or devise a new plan.   Another  thing I know to be true, is that the hands of a gardener are not idle.

May is a good time to use a clothes line -if you’re inclined to do so. The dryer is worth its’ weight in gold in January, but it hasn’t any charm for me once  May days are here.  My week-end guests are always treated to line dried sheets to sleep on.  In the morning, they predictably ask what I use in the laundry.  There is no product in the world that can rival  the scent of sunshine on linens.

The flower for May is lily-of-the valley.  The blooms are not spectacular, but they cast a rich scent.  Many women before me wore perfumes concocted of  Mays’ birth flower.   How fitting that the emerald is the birthstone for this month. By May time, all the earth on the rabbit patch is green.  Clover springs up everywhere and has the sweetest smell in the night air. 

May is a time to stay out of the woods.  Children were taught to abandon their forts by this time, when I was young. To hear the adults talking about all of the things that could go wrong in the woods, would scare us in to submission til the first hard frost had fallen.  The winter playground of country children was closed in May.  There was also a certain date in May for going bare-footed.  I can’t remember which day, but it wasn’t safe til then, to do so. I never go bare-foot now, but I did then.  I think I broke that rule every year and always got caught as I would get stung by a honey bee in a patch of clover.

For whatever reason, I change my cooking habits about now.  Big pots of dried beans, stews and soups are not on the menu-excepting a rainy day.  May is a time for berries and spring onions- and the under-rated beet.  I do not like them pickled, but with salt and butter instead. Many a spring table cloth bares the memories of beets and berries enjoyed in May, on the rabbit patch.

May is full of gladness for me.  The simplicity of linen dried in open air and a kitchen full of strawberries, fill my heart with gratitude. The smell of clover and watching the rabbit patch community running through it, stirs up a sense of peace in me.  I hear the May Song- and hope boldly that everyone else does too.                        

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