Monday, April 25, 2011

The Maypole

Whew!  Last week was a busy week and there was no extra time for writing.  We were in our preparations for our big party of the year.  Our Maypole party where we invite many many friends over to celebrate Spring by eating, drinking, playing music, joy, time around the fire, and dancing around the maypole. 

We started this tradition in 2004. I couldn't find the 2004 photos, but here is one from 2005.

Someone ask me on Saturday why we do the maypole.  And my response is that we celebrate with the Maypole to honor the seasons inside and out.  

Spring is my favorite season because we HAVE to pay attention to Earth waking up.  Winter months are hard.  We dive in emotionally - even if we aren't aware we are doing it.  We stay close to home in winter and the days are short and nights are long and time outside is minimal because it is cold and dark.  We spend a lot of time in our heads in the winter and we discover if only through accident what we need to focus on in the coming year in our lives.  

When Spring arrives in all her beauty we have to pay attention.  As Earth begins to warm and the green of fresh growth starts the days become longer and warmer and we begin to come out of our caves ready to shed that hard work of winter and celebrate new life and new wisdom gained.  

The maypole is my celebration of that.  

It's the celebration of the end of winter and the welcoming of all that is new and being born in the physical world as well as the mental and emotional worlds.  It is a time of new beginnings.  

The Maypole was celebrated for this reason for many years and then as traditions die away the maypole has lost its value in our society and we don't pay as close attention to what is happening outside and in.  We do the Maypole to help us stay focused and see clearly and to celebrate our friends, family, and our lives and to stay connected to the traditions those before us have honored.  

This year's maypole was full of excitement and fun.  We had nearly 80 bodies here between adults and children.  There was a lot of great food, yummy wine, beer, and joy.  The kids played hard in both the field out front and the woods in back.  You could hear their laughter coming from every direction.  

I was reminded how fortunate I am to live in such a lovely place and how perfect our little spot of woods are for us.  Our place is beautiful this time of year - all times of the year, but sometimes I need the extra reminder of what a great home we have and how inviting it is for our friends and family.  

We also did an egg hunt for the "littles." (That's what I call everyone under the age of 8.)  Our children are now officially big kids who wanted to hide eggs for everyone who wanted to hunt.  We did that up in the big field and it was great! 

We ate and were merry then we gathered around the maypole and tied the ribbons on and did the maypole dance.

There was music played on the front porch and a fire built in the back to gather around and sing and take a moment in our busy world to simply sit with friends in song and talk.

We could ask for no more than the perfect day we were given.  We are thankful for all of our friends, those who were here with us to celebrate as well as those we weren't able to come.  All year long we honor the Maypole and the joy it reminds us to have in our hearts for the blessing of an amazing and always growing community.  

As more pictures pour in this week, I will share more with you.  I know there are some great ones coming my way.

Happy Spring Everyone!

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