"....bring flowers of the rarest, from garden and woodland, and hillside and vale."
That's part of a Marian hymn, songs to be sung to Mary, the Blessed Virgin, and especially in the month of May which is dedicated to her. Being Catholic school brats, my classmates and I were well-practiced in these songs and they've been stuck in my brain ever since. We eagerly awaited the month of May when a lot of time which would otherwise be spent in class was devoted to rehearsing the crowning of the statue of the "Queen of the May". I think the most popular girl always got to place the wreath of flowers on Mary's head, but the rest of us sang our little hearts out. And we got to wear pretty dresses, not our hated school uniforms.
I still eagerly await the first day of May which brings so much promise of flowers, gardening, and the balmy summer months ahead. My own tradition in recent years is to come to work bearing flowers for all my co-workers.
When I'm lucky, like this year, I can find bunches of these spray roses, so everyone gets a stem with 3 or 4 buds on it. This time I picked two different colors, the hot pinkish-orange ones for the more volatile or exotic personalities, and the pale pink for the sweet, traditional dispositions. They make their own choice and I get a secret chuckle out of pegging each one accurately (or not). Of course, on any given day, I could be an orange or a pink, but on the first of May I'm a traditionalist!
And why am I four days late posting this ode to the first day of May? Because I caught a cold that very day and have been miserable ever since! Which didn't stop me from visiting a local nursery after work today. I gathered a few more bedding plants which are destined to be stored in my garage over the weekend since we're expecting freezing temps tonight. The unfairness of it all! But, the sweet promise of May!