It’s the Merry Month of May!
By Sister Renee Y.
OK…I know at least some of you woke up this morning with the great refrain from Camelot running through your mind: “It’s May! It’s May! The merry month of May!” (And for you chick-flick illiterate guys who are saying, “What’s Camelot?”, never mind!) In the northern hemisphere, May is, undoubtedly, one of the most life-filled months of the year. The earth is coming to full bloom and the breeze has softened to pre-summer. Long-lighted days make us feel we are capable of more than we were in December. May makes us glad we were born.
For many, the month will be filled with celebrations of the cycles of life – graduations, First Communions, Confirmations, and weddings. Sports will move outdoors, accompanied by our dusted-off hibachis and coolers. Kids will return to their sandboxes with grandpops watching from the freshly-swept porch.
This is the perfect time to drink in everything that bolsters life, to receive its warm strength with gratitude and to be renewed. Cupped in these sunlit hours is the spirit of hope, the elixir of gratitude, the tonic of community and the refreshment of play. Receive the gifts that May is offering you.
For some of us, the light-hearted gifts of May might be veiled in a personal sadness or pain. It might be very hard to reach through that to grasp what is offered. But even within that veil, creation is whispering that life and hope can never be quenched. You are made of the same glory as the vibrant flowers and the vigorous trees. You will bloom again.
Thinking of that, I remember my Grandmother, a brilliantly “May” person who lived in a body of December pain. Completely crippled by arthritis, she never moved from a daybed in our living room. From there, she was the center, not only of our of our family life, but of our neighborhood. Her bed was pulled up close to a large window, where she sat in queenly vigilance over all our neighbors as they passed on their way to various errands and employments.
In May, the window was opened and the summer conversations began. I was such a little girl when I observed these congenial exchanges. It was only later in life that I realized that these pastoral sessions gave life to both my grandmother and her neighbors. She turned out of her own pain to receive theirs and to convince them that, like her, they held the power of May in their souls.
So here’s to May – (by the way, it was my grandmother’s nickname). May it fill your spirit with life, hope and joy!