mayday, mayday

Tomorrow is May Day, which has has long been a celebration of spring and fertility. Like any proper holiday, its origins stem from ancient pagan nature worship. Then, as now, fertility was celebrated and honored. With the arrival of spring, villagers would gather to ritualize and celebrate the renewal of life and land — new crops, new animals, and of course new children.

This fertility rite may be best illustrated by the traditional maypole dance, where boys and girls would gather around the phallus maypole, dancing, singing, and weaving ribbons and flowers into an intricate celebration of the circle of life. (Note: more “adult” ancient pagan rituals involved fire, animals, and lots of sexual energy.) 

Yeah, May Day really pisses me off. How about you?

Aside from the fertility rites that have passed me by with my childbearing years, May is also the month of my birth. I am not looking forward to celebrating this one, which feels anything but happy and brings me one last step closer to 40. The last few have stung like a mofo. I’m fortunate to have the Amazing M who has planned a lovely low-key weekend getaway. So there’s that. I can’t even imagine where I’d be without him. 

Then of course there’s Mother’s Day. The past few years my mom has sent me a card, saying how she knows what a great mother I will be. They have brought me to tears. But what now? She has an idea where we are. Will her card use past tense (i.e., what a great mother I “would have been”)? Wouldn’t that be so sad? Will she forgo sending a card at all out of fear of saying the wrong thing? I know how upset she is for us — she wants to fix it, but she just can’t make the hurt go away.  

On a totally different note, May also marks the one year anniversary of unexpectedly losing our beloved pup, our surrogate child. This is another post altogether, but for now I’ll just say that we are still very much missing our best friend who left us far too soon. Our home and hearts are even more empty without her sweet gentle being and unconditional love. 

And along the lines of spring fertility, this time of year makes me think of my baby boy, who would be turning two in June. It breaks my heart to think what our lives could have been like with him — even more than reflecting on how it has been without him. The passage of time marks his absence, but also serves as an aching reminder of how empty our arms remain, still. Ah, springtime… 

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~ by luna on April 30, 2008.

10 Responses to “mayday, mayday”

  1. I’m sorry, dear Luna, that this month has such bitter associations. Fertility used to be a community force: the whole group’s existence depended on the earth, animals, etc. Now, reproduction is a personal achievement, all about the self.

  2. Spring sucks. In fact, I’m off to pick up a dead baby bird from my lawn right now. I often wonder how these rituals began — was it “to help” those who never bore children but no one knew why not? Did they hate these signs as much as we do?

  3. Screw May Day and the May pole. Mother’s Day? Phhllgh! I will celebrate May because it’s the month of your birth. (Well, and because of the Kentucky Derby).

  4. I am just catching up. I’m sorry I missed so many important days over the last week or so.

    It is so hard to lose a child and then go years not knowing if you will ever get pregnant again or ever parent. It is an ache few people understand.

    I wish there was something I could say that would make things better.

  5. This time of year can really suck. As if mother’s day isn’t enough, my birthday is always right around mother’s day, so I get double fun. I’m even older, still not a mother and it’s marking the passage of time, doubled.

    I’m here with you.

  6. hey luna, your may feels like my april. I can’t take away any of the ugh you are feeling, but I can stand beside you and give a great big middle finger to the May Pole if that helps.

    Here with you…

  7. That is a lot for one month, Luna. All I can say is that I’m sorry and I wish that your heart could be made lighter. Thinking of you.

  8. Just between you and me I never really cared for spring. Of course, the sun is nice and so are all the flower, blah, blah, but spring also reminds me of what I see on a daily basis – expectations of a healthy baby represented in a big swollen baby. Don’t get me wrong, I can take it, it doesn’t really ruin my day – anymore – but still, it’s just another potent reminder that the universe is going on with the birthing party and I didn’t get an invite.

  9. Hmmm. Trying to find some good things for you to focus on since this will clearly be a difficult few weeks for you. You are clearly adored by your Amazing M, your readers want nothing but the best for you, your talent and capacity to capture and share insights is second to none, and you’re living in a part of the world that offers breathtaking escapes from the mundane and unpleasant … I know this comment is only a small consolation, but I find any attempts to find balance helps to move the scales from negative to neutral at best.

  10. […] one year ago, I wrote about how much I hate May Day and the celebration of the fertile spring with its rites and […]

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