May Day 2013 was a sorrowful day for me. I had expected to greet the day full of joy at what I thought would be little Lyra's immanent arrival. Instead, my womb was empty (or so I thought) and I felt lost.
I walked out into the early morning revels of the Oxford May celebrations feeling utterly encircled by a winter I could not escape.
I was wrong of course. On that day, an impossibly tiny life had secretly started her journey into being. I now know my little Minka Rose was already with me.
This year we spent May 1st in Padstow watching the dancing Obby Oss. It was strange to see my beloved smiling face in the crowd rather than on the Bod steps, leading the singing and dancing. It was dream-like to look down to Minka, wrapped close against my chest.
After the Oss, we got into a bit of a May froth and have been to three different folky, Wicker Man-esque events. Below are my pictures of Lustleigh and the crowning of the May Queen - sadly I forgot my camera during Helstons Flora Day.
Lustleigh May Day caused a bit of debate concerning the vintage of such traditions. Historical record has their origins in the fairly recent past, which is a disappointment to those longing for unbroken connection to an ancient past. However, May in England is such a flower-starred, warm(ish) blessed relief from winter, I like to think it is quite possible that it has long been a time for celebration.
We can never know exactly what it might have meant to ancient Britons, but hopefully there was a picnic in there somewhere. If any of my ancestors were involved I can almost guarantee that bit.
Along with the new life that May brings,
there were also reminders of death.
This beautiful buzzard, found dead and then preserved on site, was particularly moving. It looked almost as though it were still in flight, wings drawn back in preparation for a hunting dive towards the ground.
I am relieved and grateful to be in Spring this year - and long may she reign in my life! But I also know that Without endings there are no beginnings.