We walked, bathed in May’s perfume, through the hours of this perfect day, our eyes drinking in the delicate petals, the fragile wings, the broad swaths of emerald stretched far and wide before us.
Who could behold this beauty and not know that it was wrought with love? What heart could not be drenched in awe?
As the sky turned the color of a swallowtail’s wings, we bade sweet May farewell. And she, her miracles complete, breathed a song of joy and slipped away to the hidden place where the months go to rest and to celebrate all that their wondrous labors brought forth.
Beneath a perfect azure sky, trees full with leaves greet the morning with waves of emerald and jade. Already the day is warm and moist, and the perfume of living fragrances floats on the breeze.
As if this miracle weren’t enough, as if the thousand flowers she had so graciously given failed to convey her love and joy, May swept clouds of white wildflowers all along the roadside.
I took it to be a sign of the purity of her affection, a sweet, final bouquet to welcome June and to bid those of us who so dearly adored her a bounteous, light-filled farewell.
Even if you’re one of hundreds who, from a little distance, look quite alike, none exactly like you has ever been, nor ever will be.
Even if you’re hidden where few will ever notice, where few will ever hear you’re song, you add your own measure to the world’s beauty.
Even if you think you’re too small to matter, you do.
Even if your song is a shy one, its melody is lovely to those who have ears to hear.
Blossom freely, my darling, and in your heart of hearts, know that you are precious and dearly loved.
When sweet May has gone, and time drifts into summer, may you recall the days when we breathed the scent of lilacs and were in love.
When the world brings on its cruelties, when innocence seems forever lost, may you remember May mornings when gentle rains fell on the just-opening lilacs and larks filled the air with song.
These are the days of grace, my love, when life bursts in radiant hues from a cold and frozen world. Tuck them in your heart and remember how life goes on and on.
May was pleased as she made her final tour of the forest and meadows, the lakes and lawns and fields.
Her beautiful flower children were like pieces of the rainbow, gleaming from every corner of the earth. She so loved them, not only for the color and fragrance that they added to the world, but for the part they played in life’s web. For in fact, life could not go on without them.
But most of all, May was grateful for the grand sweep of green that she had called forth on this beloved planet. It was the green, more than anything else, that sustained life. And how fond she was of the softness and variety of its hues. It complemented every flower. It provided cool relief to the eye from summer’s brightness. It was the magic within each leaf. Its breath was the breath of all creatures of the land. It nourished their bodies and refreshed their souls. And now, here it was, dense and luxurious, May’s gift.
“Let there be green!” she sang in joy as she floated above the land. “Let there be endless, wondrous green!” And so it was.
The heart of the sun sent its fairest daughter, Iris, to dance in the farewell celebrations for May. During her brief sojourn, May had strewn the earth with such exquisite beauty that he wanted a special way to say, “Well done.”
Iris, whose name means both “rainbow” for the many colors she can choose to wear, and “messenger” because she carries the messages of the gods, gathered her delicate, ruffled petals and floated to Earth, below.
She spread herself over the countryside in all her many forms and in all of her rainbow hues. But for the ceremonial dance, she chose her lemony colors. They best represented her father to the children of Earth with their brightness and their warmth.
The sun positioned himself high overhead as the hour came for the flowers’ farewell dance for their merry mother. And when the spotlight of her father’s light fell on her, Iris began her solo ballet.
All the other flowers were transfixed by the sight, their hearts filled with wonder for the grace of her movements, for the way she so perfectly conveyed the joy they felt in their hearts, and their love for May, Queen of the Months, and Spirit of Beauty.
And sweet May bowed in thanks, and all the flowers erupted in song.
Hold nothing back. Nothing. Let every molecule within you have its moment of song. The highs, the lows, the dark and the light. Every texture of you is a gift meant for you to share. Every filament of your being has meaning for the world.
You are no accident. You are the fulfillment of a dream the Yes dreamed long ago. You are meant to be here, on this day, beneath this sky, knowing what only you can know, experiencing in a way that is uniquely and forever your own.
Shine, darling. This is your moment. And the very air waits for your breath and your motion, for your smile, and your sighing, for your laughter and your tears. Gift the world with your being, love. Hold nothing back.
May sweeps the sky with clouds the color of doves. She sends the perfume of anticipation on a light, moist breeze.
Suddenly the birds are all atwitter, chirping the news, flitting from branch to branch in eager joy.
The breeze gathers fullness and the bright leaves sail its waves, all frothy and green. And then the rain comes, falling like some heavenly arpeggio of chimes on the petals of the fragile blossoms.
When they first learned that they would get to be May’s pink hearts, the little elementals could hardly believe their good fortune. To represent the very core of sweet May’s being was a high honor indeed. And beneath their excitement, they felt a sense of wonder and humility to have been awarded such a privilege.
But one mystery remained. Why, they puzzled, were they called “bleeding hearts” when May was the essence of delight and joy? Perhaps the answer would come once they were embodied and blooming.
When their day finally arrived and the little blossoms opened, they were astonished at the depth of beauty in which they found themselves immersed. Billowing clouds fed them with happiness tears that gleamed like pearls. Birds sang hymns to the rising of the sun and to its setting, and the sky was an ever-changing panorama of colors and light. Their sister flowers danced a ballet of rainbow hues, and the grass wore sparkling dew.
So filled were they with joy and gratitude that they were overflowing with emotion, and so, as they unfolded, droplets of pure happiness bleed from them. And their question was answered at last.
For My Mom
I think you would have liked this little corner of the creek. You would have noticed the way the emerald light from the trees reflected in its still water, and the sky falling there, too, and the mirrored trunks of the trees. You would have seen the way the sunlight dappled the trees’ bark and the way the roots of the sycamore wound up along the bank.
I know you would have loved the birdsong. I can almost hear your voice singing along with the robin: “Cheerily! Cheerily! Cheer-up!” I would have laughed at that; you never could carry a tune.
I can imagine us walking here together, feeling the crunch of the stony sand beneath our shoes, you pointing out the tadpoles wiggling in the shallow water.
I miss you, Mom. But I carry you with such joy in the center of my heart. And as I walk here today, your spirit walks with me. And I softly smile and sing “Happy Birthday,” sweetheart. Happy birthday.