Now it is May

May 2020-2 - 1


It was a beautiful May Day.  In the Celtic traditions, it’s called Beltane and is one of the eight pagan holidays which are considered turning points in the year.  It’s a time of year in which the veil between the human and supernatural worlds is at its thinnest.  It’s a good day for magic.  I must say, when the setting sun cast its glow across these tiny violets, which were standing so bravely between the stones on our terrace, with a cold wind blowing them to and fro, there was magic at my house.

All week long I’ve vacillated between, “wow, we’ve made it to another month” and, “here we go again, another month.”  So many good things happened in my little personal life this week.  Rita and Lee brought a pizza down, and we sat on the covered porch in the rain under wool blankets, six feet apart.  A bonafide social occasion, after all this time.  Two evenings in a row, a trio of huge sub-adult grizzlies meandered down our yard and crossed the stone terrace.  The hummingbirds are back, and a pair of loons are calling to one another at the end of our dock.  The first mixed green lettuces were available at the opening day of the Kalispell’s Farmers Market, and Rita picked up two bags for me.   And, Fletcher is now home to his family in Billings and they are all together, for the first time in 2020.

Yet, despite how I’ve radically reduced my consumption of bad news, there is just bad news, everywhere, all the time, hovering over us, and the anxiety of an uncertain future will be with us for a long time.   In all the discussion about curves and peaks and spikes of the coronavirus, the term “plateau” seems the most appropriate.  We are stuck on a high mountain plateau, exposed to the elements, and unable to locate a trail which will lead us down to safe ground.

And, now it is May.   It’s a beautiful month, midway between the beginning of spring and start of summer.  I think spring has been particularly gorgeous this year.  Most of my life, I’ve rushed through spring, wanting to hurry through its temperamental weather, its cold winds, and get to summer on the other side.  But, in this slowed down time, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “A Light exists in Spring/Not present on the Year”.  Have those new green leaves ever had so many yellow undertones?  Have there ever been so many robins singing?  Has the lake ever been so aquamarine in color?

A Light exists in Spring…
by Emily Dickinson

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period-
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay-

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

1 thought on “Now it is May

  1. Mary J Barry

    I so wish we could eat pizza on the porch….even 6 feet away. I forgot to ask you about the friggin bears when we spoke!!! OMG


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