Isn’t it wonderful when you step outside the door and a spring breeze wafts through the air caressing your skin with its warm embrace? In that moment you stand still with your face upturned to the sun and you take a deep breath that becomes an ah-h-h-h. In this subtle but undeniable moment you feel the ah-h-h resonate in your heart and a letting go, a relaxation, a ‘yes’ seeps into your being. Deep in the chambers of memory traveling along ancestral pathways you remember this awakening is not only of the Earth but is of you as well and has happened at this time of year since the beginning. There is an infectious “joie de vie” that permeates every sense, every cell, even your thoughts are cheerful. You feel a kind of magnetism for that which is of life and its essential ingredient – love. You are in love with life and all its magnificent expressions.
May Day also known as Beltane was traditionally the time of year where country folk rejoiced in the return of the warmth having survived the long and often hard winter. Beltane, the cross quarter between spring equinox and summer solstice, is a fire festival when two large fires were built parallel to each other and all the herds of animals were passed between the fires to free them of any disease and to insure fertility before they were then moved to their summer pastures. Likewise, couples were encouraged to visit the newly plowed fields “to fertilize the fields” encouraging abundant growth of the crops. The Maypole was erected and a ritual dance of entwining brightly colored cloth coupled God and Goddess to encourage a fruitful growing season. Wreaths of hawthorn blooms called “mayflowers” were worn to celebrate the blooming of the season. Beltane eve is considered a “spirit-night” when the veil between the worlds is thin and fairies can be seen reveling in wooded glades. After a riotous evening of frolicking and jumping the Beltane fires one might wash their face in the dew of a fresh May Day morn.
Along with the celebration of Beltane came the professing of love for another so that this time of year was when courtship began with the intention of eventual betrothal. With the support of this season and the heart opening attraction for all things living and growing what a great time to express love – love for life, love for the Earth, love for another, love for diversity, love for the Holy and that which keeps life alive. During this life-honoring, life-loving season kiss the plants, hug trees, put food out for wild animals, bless the water, run barefoot through fields of wildflowers, sip the morning dew from flowers, make love on the Earth, dance around a night fire and love deeply, as if your life depended on it.