Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh, the Merry Merry Month of May

Some of my fondest memories of childhood revolve around the month of May. Besides the lushness of late spring -- ever-greening trees, bushes and plants -- there was the promise of soon-to-be freedom from school and lots of time to do mostly fun things. Early May brought the crowning of the Virgin, her statue wearing a wreath often made of lilies of the valley. I never got to be the crowner, but still I enjoyed the singing and pageantry of the event. We never danced around a May pole, however, and I am not aware of any of our friends and neighbors doing so either.

In these recent years, I have been seeing and reading much about Cinco de Mayo, a celebration particularly dear to those of Mexican descent. While I never actively participate, I am always aware of the event and happenings associated with it. This celebration was barely in my vocabulary even ten years ago. How nice to see that Minnesota is becoming ever more diverse!

Memorial Day remains a holiday” biggie,” not surprisingly. Here in the monastery we do it up well: special prayers and songs at Mass and Liturgy of the Hours plus, most years, a fine picnic in the north or east court/garden. Patriotism is alive and well in our monastery and usually lots of red, white and blue accompanies the meal.

May with its myriad events is a grand kickoff to summer and one rejoices at both spiritual and material blessings, those delivered and those anticipated.

photo: A wind chime hangs from a flowering tree in the monastery courtyard. Blossoms fill the drive by the old Cloisterwalk.

1 comment:

  1. I've been following your blog through an RSS feed at LiveJournal. It is always lovely to see your thoughtful reflections, which help me slow down and consider aspects of my own life for a few minutes (before the craziness of real life intrudes again :P). But I was particularly touched by today's message because lily of the valley are very special to my family; my great-grandparents' name meant "Lily of the valley" in German. All the women carried some in their bridal bouquets, and our own little patch of it here at home recently bloomed as well. So, anyway - it was doubly lovely to imagine a whole crown of it, as a gift to Mary.