Mother Earth has woken up, and life is bursting everywhere! We are surrounded by the energy of renewal and rebirth, transformation and healing. This season is full of some of our favourite festivals; especially the May Pole!
By May Day the seeds are planted, the sun has gathered strength to warm the soil and our hearts, and the flowers burst into bloom as Spring prepares for Summer. It is time to celebrate, from greeting the dawn to dancing around a maypole with flowers in our hair. If you have a chance to see Morris dancers or the weaving dance that wraps a maypole in its ribbons, watch closely for the cyclical patterns they create; mirroring in their dance the year’s turn, and the eternal promise of creation.
Bringing May Day into your home
A lovely tradition is to share May Day outside of your home, perhaps by watching Morris dancers or a maypole dance, or by leaving May Baskets; tiny baskets of flowers or treats, left anonymously for friends and neighbours. For the littlest ones, a green hand print, topped with finger painted flowers can be a wonderful way to create a very individual bunch of flowers. A highlight of springtime, taking a walk through a carpet of these beautiful wild flowers is nothing short of bliss.
Forty days after Easter comes the festival of Ascension, when Jesus was taken up into the clouds and left the realm of the Earth. Now he becomes the lord of the Universe and of the elements. His being radiates down to the Earth. Something of the quality of this time we can hold in our hearts while we accompany the children on a walk up a hill, from where we can look down and distance ourselves a little from the world.
The children make wind wands, kites or other wind borne toys and the children celebrate by playing with these and with the wind either at kindergarten or out on a walk.
Traditionally, in the UK, churches would “beat the bounds” on Ascension. This is where parishioners would walk round the parish boundaries, marking boundary stones by writing on them in chalk and hitting them with sticks.
‘We do not know God from her essence. We know her rather from the grandeur of her creation and from her providential care for all creatures,’
Maximus the Confessor (c580-662)