May Day

When I was a little girl, my sister and I filled tiny baskets with flowers and put them on the neighbor's porches. My baskets, as I recall, were always a wreck. Lots of dandelions drooping sadly, on stems too long and spindly for tiny baskets. My sister was a born decorator. She found tiny violets and candytuft - or something like.


Today, my backyard is blooming with magnolia and bluebells, but they are none of my doing. I live with the efforts of those who came before me. I know I'm supposed to tout books on Tuesday, but it's Mayday. I have to go hunt me up some dandelions.

But, wherever you are, take a minute for a morning in May. Magdalen College, Oxford. Where it's still sunrise. And the bells are ringing in the May.

And the ancient songs are still sung:

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med

And springþ þe wde nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu.
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ,
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes þu cuccu;

Ne swik þu nauer nu.

Sing cuccu nu. Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu. Sing cuccu nu!