My Norwegian grandmother recalled her childhood May Day tradition of picking wild flowers to leave on friends’ and sweethearts’ doorsteps. The flower basket tradition changed slightly by the time I was a child. I recall paper cups with pipe cleaner handles. We filled these “May baskets” with candy and delivered them to friends.
My sister, brother and I were disappointed when we were too old to hand out May baskets (or maybe more disappointed in no longer receiving the candy-filled baskets). Our mother decided a May Day picnic was in order as the weather was unusually warm. I don’t recall the entire menu, but fried chicken and shoestring potato chips went in the picnic basket. We invited neighbor kids to join us at a nearby creek. After the food was devoured, we turned our attention to jumping across the creek at ever widening spots until we were all wet and muddy. If memory serves me, the boys rode home in the opened car trunk. Recently, our “neighbor boy” reminisced about that long-ago May Day picnic which is still one of his fond childhood memories. Turns out, May Day picnics are even more delightful than paper cups of candy!
Weather allowing, we try to uphold the picnic tradition. While creek jumping is not imperative, finding a spot along a sunny creek where flowers are most plentiful is hard to beat. I hope you are able to do the same. And, if possible, light a fire in keeping with the ancient, but still much alive, Beltane celebration.