Friday, May 6, 2011

May Madly Alive

Long daylight, birds singing and flowers starting to pop have us smiling. It’s been a long while coming. But oh wow when it does. May, as it pulls out all the stops, becomes the serene and truly special time of the year.

It’s so nice for one thing, with the sun up early these days, to have sunrise with my coffee instead of the sun poking up seemingly halfway through the day.

The daffodil bulbs bought at the Arboretum last fall and planted on the back banks are cheery in their scattered plantings. It’s good to see the season take sure hold everywhere.

The sage and lavender in the garden were a surprise to find on the first inspection tour after the snow was gone. They weren’t covered for protection in the fall. Our assumption was they were annuals.

The herbs appear to be healthy and growing and no worse the wear for the winter they went though. One can marvel at how plants, and wild creatures too, can tough it out through harsh conditions and come back ready to go.

The rosemary bush, an acquisition from last May – the one purchase at the street art fair on the lake – is flourishing. It’s been set out on the deck after the shelter given it inside over the winter. The sun and rain coax out the fragrance of its needles, an additional pleasure.

A chipmunk on the doorstep is the new king of the hill. I say new but likely it’s the same chippie as claimed the spot last year. Advantageously positioned on the highest point around, it knows it has a marvelous lookout. It scurries off, but barely, at our approach. Its cheeks bulge. It's eating well.

In the country growing up we regarded chipmunks as pets. We fed them, seeing them only as adorable. The handouts are over at this house. You start to realize how potentially destructive cute little animals can be around the place.

Garage sale signs have sprung up like dandelions. I’m not a garage-sale kind of person but today, after errands downtown, I obediently followed the arrows as they pointed different directions in the neighborhood.

The tables were quite bare and picked over. Later-comers like me need to shake a leg if we want the buys. I was told at one of the sales that the crowds were out in force. They showed up well before start time.

It makes sense I suggested to the owner, left with a small collection of Christmas ornaments, sofa pillows and bric-a-brac. No wonder the garage-salers were out en masse. We’re all crazy to get at activities which cool temperatures and wet weather have kept us from.

May, as I see it, is made to slow us down even as the outdoor pace spikes. We need to let restful thoughts breeze through our heads. We need to allow the mild sunshine to work its magic on us. It will if we pause long enough to surrender to it.

No matter how busy in our gardens or briskly pedaling our bikes or limbering up our swings on crowded golf courses the intent this spring – maybe more than ever – is to pause and take May in. May gives freely. Let's live it fully.

Ro Giencke – May 6, 2011

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