May is here! I always think of dancing around the May Pole which I did as a young child in grammar school. Have you ever danced around a May Pole? It’s such a beautiful tradition. The dance around a May pole creates a sense of community and is stunning. There is also a famous literary May Pole dance at the opening of Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Of the young women dancing on May 2, Hardy writes,
And as each and all of them were warmed without by the sun, so each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, at least some remote and distant hope which, though perhaps starving to nothing, still lived on, as hopes will. They were all cheerful, and many of them merry. (Chapter 2)
We used to also leave posies or little gathering of flowers on the door steps of our neighbors to surprise them. (I probably organized this effort!) And sometimes these were baskets that were filled with flowers and left on doorknobs, as NPR noted in 2015.
And apparently May Day was a very big deal in Washington DC once upon a time, where the day was focused on promoting children’s health, and kids could get free check ups on the Ellipse in front of the White House.
In other parts of the world May 1st is Labor Day or International Workers Day. May 1st became associated with labor rights when in 1886, workers in the United States went on strike to fight for an eight hour day. We’ve come a long way since then in some ways and in other ways we’ve regressed – especially when compared to the rest of the world. To learn more about the history of this day and how May 1 became associated with labor rights and the tensions of labor versus “loyalty,” see this article from Time magazine.
May is also when we mark Memorial Day and Mother’s Day. In DC, that means the rumbling of loud motor cycles as part of the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle rally which brings nearly a million veterans to DC streets. I confess I don’t love the noise pollution and would prefer a more sobering and quiet remembrance of those who have served the cause of freedom.
May in DC is always fun. If you’re local, here are some highlight to consider putting on your calendar.
:: The annual Flower Mart at the National Cathedral that includes flowers and fun and food on May 4th-5th. You can climb to the top of the cathedral too for the best view of the capital.
:: Around the World Embassy Tour is held on May 5 and is an incredible opportunity to experience the food, art, fashion, and music of all countries from around the globe.
:: Union Market outdoor drive-in movies begin again on May 11 with Raiders of the Lost Ark.
:: Jazz in the Garden in the sculpture garden of the Smithsonian Museum begins on May 18th. These are free and always fantastic.
We have three free lock screens for your phone to mark the new month. Every time you reach for your device you can be motivated with our beautiful images and inspiration.
Our other themes for May are “Dance,” “Invite” and “Purpose.”
Please share this post with a friend so they can be inspired throughout May as well.
Open this post on your phone. Select the image you want by pressing down on the image you love best. Then tap the button to save the image to your camera roll. Then go to your phone settings, then to display/wallpaper and select the option to choose a new wallpaper. Then select the downloaded image as your lock screen. And save!
1) First save the photo to your phone by tapping with your finger until box pops up that says “copy” “save” “more…”
2) Tap on save.
3) Go to settings app on phone and open
4) Go to “Wallpaper – under “Display & Brightness” & “General”
5) Click on “Choose a new wallpaper”
6) Go to your “All Photos”
7) Select the photo you want
8) When pulled up you can move and scale (but you shouldn’t have to). When as you wish, click on “set”
9) Select “set lock screen” And you are done!
Let me know what you think!
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire