Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Happy May Day…Happy Mothers Day…My Mother’s Second Anniversary…We’ll be Stepping Out

Flora, Goddess of Flowers

May first. May Day is a many-splendored thing with more official holiday designations than perhaps any other day of the year. I recall as a child weaving May Day wreaths from spirea branches cut from our bushes and hanging them on our neighbors door. I especially liked hanging my wreath on Aunt Grace's door in the brown cottage.


As a woman living in Northern California, I celebrated May Day by dancing around a Maypole with other women in a secluded spot on Point Reyes.


Since May 1, 2006, though, this day has taken on another, deeper meaning. May first for me now mainly means the time my mother chose to pass from this earth. What a perfect time she chose to be the Queen of culminate her lifetime graduate studies as a biology major.

Sweet Little Dove
Mother's high school graduation photo


For many people this May 11th will be Mothers Day. For my father and me, it's today. Today is not only Mothers Day, it is my mother's day. We won't be weaving funeral wreaths as grieving Romans did to appease Pluto, master of the Underworld. No, we'll be stepping out. Most likely we'll take an outing to Calhoun County to enjoy a day together in a place where my father and mother loved exploring and birding together...and perhaps have a country feast at Widman's Hotel. Wherever we go, and whatever we do...Mother remains our Queen of the May.

Asa way of connecting more fully with us, you can read some of my poems for Mother on the sidebar under "Sightlines: A Poet's Diary." Just look for the section titled "Sweet Little Dove." You'll also find her life story there and a moving tribute my father spoke at her graveside service.

By taking this day stepping out together we honor mother's memory and her place in our lives as she lives on in them, during the first two years following her change of destination. It is both our memorial to memory and our pilgrims' cairn on the path to the continuing future my father and I now share.


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6 Responses »

  1. Janet,
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of your mom. I don't have a "May Day" memory of my mom, but she was born on May 19th. Like you, I miss her dearly, but the memories are so precious. Have a great day.
    Janet (the original one)

  2. Yes it is a wonderful day to share love with all consciousness. Your Mother is doing that and by remembering you connect to her awareness, and to her love.You become what she always knew you would be; a conductor of love and an ambassador of truthful expression.
    I celebrate with you in gratitude.

  3. The fact that we can remember anything is a miracle. Beautiful memories are a blessing--Ruth, your mother, I'm sure would agree. Bless you and your family.

  4. Janet,
    What a wonderful way to celebrate May Day by sharing a beautiful place and warm, loving memories of your mother with your father. I hope you found some time to gather flowers, too, even if you didn't weave a may day wreath or dance around a may pole.

  5. Janet,

    What beautiful memories you have of your mom. Reading about them touched my heart. My mother, too, has passed. I can undestand how you feel on May Day.

  6. Janet,
    What a gorgeous way to "compost" May Day and your mother's death. You've turned the cycle in sharing her life with the world, keeping her love going even as she has moved on. Thank you for bringing the gift of her to all of us!

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