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  • shayngrant

The Magic of May

May might be my favourite month of the year. It begins with Beltaine, more commonly known as May Day. An old celebration to welcome the part of the year marked by heat and fire. It is High Spring, where we re-enter life and growth from a period of death and stillness.

This last winter felt particularly long for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The days were particularly dark and dreary, and the air kept its winter chill. By March, many of us had come down with one or several lurgies. The branches stayed starkly bare, no matter how much will and hope was poured into the growing of their leaves. And then, suddenly, May arrived in all of her colourful beauty.

And there is so much to celebrate. The blossoms have suddenly erupted in a beautiful show. From hawthorn, to apple, to cherry, to name a few. The flowers too, with carpets of bluebells covering old woodland floors in a shock of violet. The air is suddenly filled with heady scents wafting from the blooms putting on their best show for their lovers, the bees. The soundscape is filled with their buzzing along with raucous birdsong. The cattle are grazing in the fields, the lambs are playing and leaping. The sun shines.

Hawthorn, in particular, embodies the eros that May uniquely brings. She is also known as The May, or May blossom (and even she was shy to bloom in early May this year). Hawthorn is one of the several trees on this land that is associated with the Fae (fairies, fair folk, Sidhe) as a gateway into their realm, The Otherworld. The way her blossoms are displayed always reminds me of a white lace wedding dress, draping down like a full skirt. They turn a shade of pink later, blushing after they’ve been pollinated. The scent of her blossoms are partially due to the compound trimethylamine, which is found in arousal fluid, menstrual blood, and rotting flesh. And so the intricate weaving of sex, life, and death come together in her flower.

It is a potent time - a time of rapid transition and wild growth, where the landscape changes quickly and the plants are available to harvest for such a short and limited time. It is the entry into time of action, of socialisation, of making merry with frivolous abandon. So dance around the May Pole, laugh with your lover, and enjoy a cup of your favourite heady tipple. It is time to shine.

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