May Days 2012

While May Day (May 1st) is not a highly celebrated holiday in the USA, it does have a long history as an important world holiday. Perhaps because of its Pagan connection, the Puritans in America discouraged this celebration. Too bad, because according to the website, from which I obtained this information and on which you can read the whole story (www.theholidayspot.com/maydayhistory.htm), the basis of May Day is Nature. (Click on May Day under the May calendar.) Here is a quote from that site:

The beginning of May was a very popular feast time for the Romans. It was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The five day festival would start from April 28 and end on May 2. The Romans brought in the rituals of the Floralia festival in the British Isles. And gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane. And many of today’s customs on the May Day bear a stark similarity with those combined traditions.

I think we need to revive May Day and link it to all the beautiful flowers of the season. I wrote a poem called Yay! Spring that pays homage to this beautiful season and May Day. See the end of this Home Page for the poem.

 

May is also filled with other important events, themes, etc. Mother’s Day is coming up and I hope to have time after my vacation to include an article about Mother’s Day that I wrote some time ago. While I do not like the commercialization of motherhood, I still think we can take that day to honor our mothers.

 

 

 

On a more serious note, May is National Osteoporosis Month. Two people I know have had procedures for broken backs, a result of osteoporosis, so it is a serious condition. (See photos on normal bone matrix & osteoporosis). I Googled this topic and found that you can download an Online Toolkit to share with your doctor and friends. That link is: www.nog.org/may-aware prevention.

 

Equally serious is National Mental Health Month, also in May. Because depression runs in my family, I have always been interested in this topic. I hope to explore this important subject using a book I have on my shelf and have already read. I will review or share parts of it that I feel will help readers better understand this area of mental illness that the author calls the: “common cold of mental illness.”

On a historical note, May is also American Jewish History Month, a fact I learned on the back of a box of matzoh during Passover. I am reading a book on Jewish women and will glean from that book Jewish women with whom I am familiar and post those names during the month.

I also hope to post some recipes with foods that are seasonal, such as asparagus, spring onions, early lettuce, etc. Since I am away during the first week of May, I am reprinting my Cinco de Maya recipe from 3 years ago and an article on Goji berries from Freshlife, with permission.

Finally, here is my poem that I mentioned at the beginning of this posting.

Yay! Spring

Global warning* set aside,
Spring is here in all its pride.

Azaleas are blooming everywhere in every color in my neighborhood.

Azaleas show their lovely hues;
They slept all winter, paid their dues.

Daffodils and tulips—colors bright
Make me smile, day or night.

This is a trumpet tulip (or daffodil?) taken at the Phila. flower Show in March

Lofty trees, barely blooming
Bask in sunlight, brightly looming.

Pansies with their petals smooth
Line our walks; they seem to soothe

Our need for  Nature all about
Hurray, it’s Spring, I want to shout!

This is a tree painted by my 105 year-old mother-in-law a couple of years ago as part of her art appreciation class where she resided until her death in March.

* I think the erratic climate changes are Mother Nature’s way of warning us that she cannot handle all the pollution we are dumping into the air, in the waters, and on the soil.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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