May Day Memories

I took Mom out for lunch the other day and as we walked down the hall on her floor, I couldn’t help but notice all the lovely little paper cones filled with silk flowers hanging from the doorknobs of the individual doors.

“Mom, do you remember what we used to do on May Day?” I asked.

She put on the brakes of her walker and peered at me. “No, I don’t believe I do. What did we do?”

“John and I used to pick flowers and then go up on the neighbors’ porches and put them on the doormats, ring their doorbells, and then run like crazy to hide so they wouldn’t see us,” I answered.

“Oh, no. I don’t think we did that on May Day. You’ve got the wrong holiday,” she insisted.

“No, really. Don’t you remember? We’d put the flowers down and then run so they wouldn’t know who gave them the present. Sometimes we’d make little baskets up of woven construction paper and fill them with the flowers. Those we’d hang on their doorknobs. But we’d always ring their doorbells and then run away,” I said.

“No, I’m sure you’ve got the wrong holiday. I think it was a different one,” she answered.

“Well, which holiday do YOU think it was?”

“I think it must have been Halloween,” she promptly responded.

“Halloween? No way. That’s when you ring the doorbells and stay on their porches and then they give YOU a treat.”

“Oh dear. I must have it mixed up,” she said.

“Well, what did you do on May Day?” I asked her.

“I think we danced around a Maypole. I remember I was quite light on my feet.”

“Was there a prize for the child that had the streamer at the very bottom of the Maypole? Or was there some special reward for all the children who danced around the Maypole?” I wondered aloud.

“No, we just went around the pole and danced. That’s all we did,” she stated.

It all sounded rather pagan to me. I doubted you would have found a good Baptist within a mile of a Maypole. But looking at my mom and seeing that twinkle in her eyes as she remembered a May long past, I suddenly found myself wishing that I could have been there, running barefoot through the prairie grass beside my mom, laughing and light on my feet.

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