Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Lusty Month of May

Is it just me, or is May the best thing the calendar year has going for it? I mean really, after the long, dark, wet and chill of winter, after the indecisiveness of April, when the bones themselves (not to mention the psyche) just crave a good, solid dose of sunny warmth, of outdoors, here it comes—finally.

It could be I’m biased. I was born in May, and on the very last day (hint, hint :), so I spent (especially as a kid, but let’s face it, still) the entire month, all thirty-one days, in giddy anticipation. Plus my bday coincided within a day of a national holiday, so it always felt all that more special. There were barbeques, picnics, Girl Scout sleepovers, and back then, even the stores were closed. But birthday aside, May was finally getting back outside; riding bikes, roller skating, hopscotch; shorts, skinned knees, cartwheels, running through waist-high weeds; wild kittens, tadpoles, the first tiger swallowtails. Not to mention it's when irises and roses, my two favorite flowers going way back to when they practically grew wild in our yard, just explode, the tall beardeds rising so proudly, their shimmering petals folding back ever so gracefully, revealing their yummy secret center and subtle scent; and the roses, oh my, the roses, bushes upon bushes covered in stunning riots of color and heady perfume just waiting for you to walk by.

Truly, is there a time of year when a little white picket fence ever looked so sweet? When the sun feels more welcome? The spirit more rejuvenated? Where I’m living right now the houses were built mostly before the sixties (when junipers and nice, tidy, evergreen flowerbeds became the landscaping of choice). Here, there are irises and roses galore, and sometimes I head out in my sun-warmed car and prowl the neighborhoods, pulling over every block or so, camera in hand, recording the month—my month—in flowers, especially the irises, which still, in the old-fashioned way, bloom just this once for the year, unlike roses which now days are serious re-bloomers, though never with quite the same verve of the very first showing. It’s what makes the irises that much more special; I know that they are breeding repeat blooming irises now, but here, I’m a purist; here, it’s all about the wait, the anticipation, the deferred gratification, the rareness, the glorious specialness of my most favorite flower blooming once and only once as the world makes its annual spring turn.

To my eye they are simply the epitome of beauty. So much to savor, and then the relishing of that almost sweet nostalgia when they begin to fade and pass. Right now, in my still-semi-depressed-state, aware of their limited time offer, I just can’t get enough, and how delicious, how lucky, I get to savor them once by looking, twice by photographing, three times by post processing, and a fourth, by sharing them here. Every day for nearly a month. I walk or drive around looking here and there and everywhere, and what runs through my mind, what seems inexplicable to me, oxymoronic even, is that if May and irises can’t cure depression, then surely nothing can.

Maybe Guenevere said (sang) it best in Camelot:

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes
Blissfully astray.
Tra la! It's here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!
It's May! It's May!
That gorgeous holiday
When ev'ry maiden prays that her lad
Will be a cad!
It's mad! It's gay!
A libelous display!
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
Ev'ryone breaks.
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May!

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That darling month when ev'ryone throws
Self-control away.
It's time to do
A wretched thing or two,
And try to make each precious day
One you'll always rue!
It's May! It's May!
The month of "yes you may,"
The time for ev'ry frivolous whim,
Proper or "im."
It's wild! It's gay!
A blot in ev'ry way.
The birds and bees with all of their vast
Amorous past
Gaze at the human race aghast,
The lusty month of May.

Happy May  :)

1 comment:

  1. oh, you slayed me with pleasure when I scrolled down to see that first shot. I was expecting irises but nothing of that hue. they've been a favorite of mine too, to the point that I years ago began a collection of things with irises on them - anything. and I'll always remember the wild yellows along the roadside on my drive into town when I lived on my farm. you've stirred a whole lot of fond memories with this lovely post. thanks for sharing. and I hope your b-day is grand!!!


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