Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day

Also the official call for help which may occur later today.

But the history of May Day was not always one of violence and protests. When I asked students today what they knew of the 1st of May they answered, protests and breaking things.

When I was a student I knew it as a celebration of spring and used to leave flowers on my neighbor's doors anonymously as the tradition I had been taught. There was the Maypole and Queen of the May adorned with Lilly of the Valley flowers. I recall the scent of them overpowering and that was almost always the gift from my Nana to honor the fist of may. Not a big fan of them I prefer Lilacs.

The tradition of this celebration goes back to pagan Germany as most do, Christmas and Easter, and May Day. The French contribution was the Lily of the Valley.

And then as all things do, they change and May day become symbolic with the Haymarket Rebellion.

International Workers Day as it is now known is not an official celebration or recognition in America as May day in its earlier incarnation was not either. Hell we don't even acknowledge International Women's day. We in America seem content to designate Mother's Day and Labor Day as the official federally designated days in which there are to be accomplished. I am not sure if you are neither a Mother or a Laborer you should be allowed to participate.

I wonder if Labor Day will honor the workers and the idea of raising the minimum wage federally this year as I doubt this May day will do so because of once again a Police shooting and violence in the streets. I keep thinking there has to be something that will come of this and it has to be positive.

And once again I wait for the end results of what protests will be held locally and the arrests, the destruction and the utter futility of it.

So either join a march, give someone some flowers - anonymously - or buy a loved one a bottle of Lily of the Valley perfume and remind oneself of other times. Not necessarily better but just of peaceful love and celebration of spring. I am exhausted from the constant strum and drang. And I suspect so are the people of Baltimore.

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