“Earth laughs in flowers.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy May Day! This year, like most, May Day is taking me back to my childhood. When I was growing up, in Long Beach California, May Day was a day about flowers and spring and being kind and thoughtful. I loved May Day, I would pick these ginormous Ivy leaves that grew along our driveway and turn them into a cone shaped vase for flowers. If you wound the stem just right and poked it through the base of the leaf it would hold really well. Then I would fill them with flowers from our yard. After filling them up I would put them on a neighbor’s doorstep, ring the bell and hide (ok, run). I loved surprising neighbor’s with a pretty bouquet. (the running and hiding was pretty fun too) Looking back I don’t know how beautiful they really were I was using grade school eyes! Certainly a surprise like that would put a smile on anyones’s face even if they weren’t as beautiful as they are in my memory.
“Friends are the flowers in the garden of life” -Olaalaa
Here in North Carolina there are plenty of beautiful flowers in my yard this time of year bringing that memory back to mind. Each year as May Day approaches I think about those flowers from my childhood and what fun it was to make and deliver those May Day bouquets. I still like to surprise people (no running and hiding though!) with small tokens to put a smile on their face. This year I decided to take May Day and turn it into a chance to tell wonderful women from different times and places in my life that they are special to me. Some of these women attended grade school with me, high school, college, or we raised our kids together, quilting friends, artist friends, walking buddies, colleagues, fellow light workers. Some I haven’t seen in decades, others I see on a regular basis. The great part of this project was that as I was making my list of women or addressing envelopes, each name would trigger a reflection on those different times in my life and the wonderful moments spent with each woman. It was really uplifting to think how fortunate I have been to know so many special women and forever friends. At times I’d have a lump in my throat ~ the good kind ~ from the emotions that arose. Some of these wonderful women live far away so I decided the best way to surprise them all was through the mail and of course sharing a little bit of my art! I made some May Day cards using images from my ‘flowery’ paintings and typed up a note sharing my May Day memory to send to each. A little personal note and they were in the mail and on their way. This project to surprise others and spread joy ended up surprising me with a flood of feelings of love and gratitude for the people in my life and how fortunate I am to share moments and memories with each of these women. They all have left a mark on my heart and will always have a special place there. Without planning to I ended up giving a gift to myself as well!
“True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, its a bout being separated and nothing changes.”
Now that May Day is nearing, each day I imagine different friends near and far opening their mailbox and instead of junk mail or bills they have something fun to open, and I hope it puts a smile on their face, happiness in their heart, and light in their life! I hope sharing this experience with you inspires some of you to randomly surprise friends and family in some small way and spread some joy ~ it always seems to come back, like a boom a rang, what you send out comes right back at you! You don’t need May Day to do it, any day will work. I guarantee it will make your day as much as the recipient of your kindness.
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two new paintings in my Gallery today. The one featured on this post is called May Day and has plenty of flowery cheer for this special day, the other is a Mandala painting, Love, Love, Love its bright and cheery and of course full of love! Take a moment and check them out!
Light, Love, Laughter,