Is May 1st a Special Day for You?

>> Monday, May 2, 2011

Gather construction paper, tape, colors, scissors, flowers and candy. Now you are ready to make a May basket. My sister had two daughters about my age, so when they did fun stuff, I was usually included. We cut off one end of the 8 ½ x 11 colored piece of paper … to make a handle for our basket. Next the other piece of paper was made into the shape of a cone, with the bottom all closed in so nothing could fall on through. The candy went in first and then flowers sitting in the top part of the cone. The strip that had been cut was made into a loop and taped to the top of the cone. Oh, I forgot. If you wanted a design on your cone, you drew that on before you made the basket.

I delivered May baskets in pouring down rain and in beautiful sunny weather. Using the handle loop, you placed the basket on the doorknob, rang the doorbell and then ran. Such fun. And so, years later, when I had three little girls, we made May baskets. They were far more creative than I had been. And we made more memories.

I’ve looked. Nowadays sometimes the front door of the house doesn’t have a doorknob. Where would you hang the basket? But no one delivers May baskets any more. We have become far too sophisticated for that.

Another memory is the Maypole dance. Streamers hanging down from a pole and each participant would take hold of one streamer. Half of the kids were to go around the pole one direction … the other half the other direction. As the music played we intertwined the streamers, making a pattern on the pole. Each time we went around, it caused the pattern to cover the pole from top down and the streamers to get shorter. When we could no longer walk standing up straight, our Maypole dance was over.

And then there is May 1st in Italy. Over there, May 1st has a whole different meaning. We discovered the trains don’t run on May 1st. And in Rome, in 1999, the “beatification” of Padre Pio, a son of Italy and of Francis of Assisi was being celebrated. Thousands of people from many nations poured into Rome on that day. Italian authorities, the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate, The Prime Minister, and may other ministers and distinguished guests. The faithful had gathered to pay homage to Padre Pio, filling the air with excitement. Even though I’m not Catholic, I had to grin. This was a really big deal to them.

I’m just not sure you get the same kind of quality memories watching television or playing a video game together. Or maybe I’m just a different generation that finds no value in those activities.

What did you do special on May 1st?

“I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.” Phil. 4:12-13 (MSG)


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