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  • Shari Goddard Shambaugh

May Day

When I was a little girl, my sister and I made May Day baskets for our neighbors. We would sneak up to their doors, hang the homemade paper basket filled with blooms on the doorknob, and knock before running out of sight and listening for their response. It filled us with a sense of excitement to hear them - loudly - talk about how beautiful the flowers were and wondering who could have left them. Looking back of course, I know they heard our loud steps on their porches, and could see us peeking around the corner. But at the time we felt powerful in our anonymous gifting of spring's first offerings.

When I had children of my own, we carried on the ritual. It was infectiously joyful to surprise friends with those unique gifts of spring. After the long dark of winter, a day to spread the happy colors of spring.

And now, as we all wait in the long dark of a pandemic, I am trying to remember to look for the hope and the places of growth in the dark around me, just as those May Day baskets spread hope-of-light-to-come to others those long years ago. Happy May Day!

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