Of Mothers, Memorials and May
Hush, feeble lyre! weak
The service to prolong!
To yon exulting thrush the Muse
Entrusts the imperfect song;
His voice shall chant, in accents clear,
Throughout the live-long day,
Till the first silver star appear,
The sovereignty of May.
— William Wordsworth, from Ode, Composed on a May Morning
May’s not a big holiday month or anything, but it does have two of my favorites: Mother’s Day and Memorial Day (May 14 and May 29, respectively).
Mother’s Day has traditionally been my day to get the garden in, and, assuming it’s not a rainy day, this will be my 18th year in a row of getting my hands in the dirt. Also yet to be seen: Will I, once again, plant more garden in May than I can handle (what with the sweltering heat-humidity combination and rampant mosquitoes) come late July? The Magic 8 Ball says, “You may rely on it.”
For the vast majority of my life, I’ve associated Memorial Day with eating outdoors—a barbecue or a picnic, with family or friends. Five or six years ago, though, I happened to attend a Memorial Day parade for the first time. My kid was playing in one of the marching bands, giving me a reason to be there, but the beauty of being outdoors in the fresh May morning air, paying tribute to those who have sacrificed the most has given me a reason to return year after year (with the exception of the anomalous 2020).
Looking at a list of May holidays, I see that there’s also a string of fun days early in the month, as we celebrate Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!), Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby Day (on May 6 this year … mint julep, anyone?)—three days in a row!
For me, May is one of the busiest and most work-filled times of the year, as I finish sifting and sorting the data from our annual Industry Report and Salary Survey, and get it ready for the June and July issues. I suspect it’s a busy month for many of you as well. After all, Memorial Day kicks off pool season along with the summer season’s programming, from day camps to ballgames and beyond.
In the midst of all that busy-ness, let’s promise to offer ourselves at least a moment of respite, by celebrating on at least one of the opportunities given us, whether it’s with a margarita or a mint julep, a morning at the parade or an afternoon just soaking in the almost-summer.
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