It's May Eve. This coming month is perhaps my favorite time of year. My two favorite flowers, violets and lilacs, are blooming. The weather is usually just about perfect for me; it's sunny and warm enough during the day to be out and about, but it cools off at night to make sleeping a pleasure. Only this year did I figure out that part of my enjoyment of the month in the city is due to the fact that I can actually get my bedroom cool enough to suit me. Despite the fact that I have the radiator turned off in there, it still manages to put out a lot of heat (this is an old building, and we're on the top floor). The closest window remains open all Winter long, and that helps a lot, but still, most of the time I don't get that brisk cool air that makes sleeping easy and pleasurable. Right now though I'm getting it, because I have both windows open, and the heat is off in the building. I was almost cold getting out of bed this morning. Heaven. I'm not sleeping a lot for other reasons (don't get excited, it's just because of work) but when I do, man is it good.
Tomorrow is May Day, or Beltáin. From Caitlín Matthews' book The Celtic Book of Days:
"Beltane (sic) celebrates the bright half of the year and was warmly welcomed for it was the official beginning of summer when the over-wintered animals could be driven out into wider pasturing, and when scattered households would meet together and travel forth....The festival of Beltane represented all things that were held in low esteem by the Church and which were notably absent from traditional ecclesiastical celebrations: sexuality, eros, dancing and singing. It was anciently customary for unmarried couples and sweethearts to pair off and go the woods on Beltane eve, so that the month of May has become proverbial for sexual initiation and loving activity. The festival of Imbolc, occurring nine months later, is perhaps not insignificantly associated with child-birth and midwifery." (p. 71)
This is one of those Pagan holidays I love in theory, but have never really committed to in as full a manner as I might. If I were more daring (or more reckless, my mother would say) I could easily go find someone to frolic with in one of the parks around here, but some magical blend of prudery, cowardice and good sense keeps me from doing that (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!). I have evolved my own rituals though, and it looks like I'll be able to observe at least a few of them tomorrow. I'll only be working in the morning, and though I ought to do laundry after that, I will probably go to Central Park to see if the violets are out yet. Then I'll check for the lilacs near Belvedere Castle. If time allows I'll go visit an Oak tree I've become very fond of. It gives off an amazingly vibrant energy. I will probably also buy some cut lilac, to bring the scent home. Tonight I lit candles, made tomato sauce for pasta, and opened a bottle of Shiraz. This wasn't just my normal Yellowtail Australian shiraz, no this was the Yellowtail Reserve shiraz. I could totally taste the extra five dollars. Given how wiped out and loopy I still am (though I think I'm over my flu), wine may have been a bad move. Well, wine, then writing on my blog may have been a bad move. We'll see how much sense this entry makes to me in the morning. Some of you may have registered opinions by then. I ask for your patience.
I still haven't told you about the work I've been doing with/for a friend of mine, nor have I shared my insights borne out of modeling for a sculpture classe. There are only a few of the fascinating subjects I will captivate you all with, when time, energy, and brain-power allows.
In the meantime, celebrate Spring tonight and tomorrow in whatever way seems best. I know you've probably seen my Green Man mask (above) before, but since this is the very holiday he is most associated with, I thought I'd post this image again.