May 1, 2012

May Day


It's a day of celebration. Not so much in America, but in many places. And I envy that. I am prone to love the pagan holidays because they have so much verve and are so celebratory of nothing more real and vital than the basic fundamentals like... living, breathing, giving birth.

What better things to celebrate?


Four years ago today my niece was murdered by her husband. I got a text message from my nephew last night, her brother. "I'm sorry you had to go through my sister's trial. I love you and I'm sorry for my grief."  He grieves violently and in ways that hurts others. He insists he can't help himself.  Maybe he can't.  I don't know and I choose to not judge.

And so I have given it much thought how to mark the day, if at all.

The best thing about Tanya was her laughter. She was buoyant. Nothing, no dire circumstances, no unfairness, no injustice would keep her down. You could press her and she would spring back. She was fierce, full of life, a cup that bubbled over with all good things. Irrepressible. Well-loved.

And so my May Day will be to honor her memory with laughter of my own. I have grieved long and hard (and sometimes still do), but today I will laugh for her -- to give life again to someone who should have lived way longer than me.

And I ask you to do something ridiculously pagan today -- celebrate some basic and vital aspect of the miracle of living in whatever way it suits you. Breath deep and stretch and fill your body with life-giving air. Tickle someone and be tickled. Give flowers to someone. Practice a random act of kindness. Walk barefoot in the grass. Embrace the earth that gives you life. Laugh. Love. Touch another human. Feel a connection. Do one thing to make the world a better place.

Because it's May Day. Because you're alive. Because Tanya can't. Because some stranger on the Internet asked you to.

Or just... because you can. That's really the best reason of all.


23 comments:

  1. I don't reaLLy consider you a stranger anymore. It is such a pretty day. My parents wedding anniversary is coming up soon. But he has passed away and they were divorced and I think he was murdered. But I will try to cheer myself up anyway. I wanted to talk to my mother yesterday but couldn't reach her. Maybe I wiLL get some news today, I am half way eXpecting certain things to happen soon.

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    1. EB, chin up! I love the challenge of finding bright spots in a dark day. Little tiny things that are wonderful. I'm passing the challenge on to you for tomorrow. Get to it!

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  2. Powerful post. As you know, I'm grateful I got to see the sun today. I'll be grateful to see it again tomorrow.

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    1. I'm grateful too. The world would be a dull place without you my friend.

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  3. A beautiful tribute to your niece, Wendy. I will be heading out for a walk around the pond, shortly. I'll watch ducks and geese.. if I'm lucky, a heron. I'll photograph aspects of nature that touch me. I do this most every day but today, I'll do it for Tanya.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad for it. :)

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    1. Thank you, Hilary, for your kind words and the visit. It was uplifting to have the thought of her riding shotgun on your nature walk. (Walking shotgun?? You know what I mean.)

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  4. I was blessed to be able to take my niece out for a bon voyage lunch today, she is going to boot camp and her parents are moving across the state. We laughed and chatted and hugged, yes, life goes on. I am so glad you can write about your feelings.

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    1. I hope you had a wonderful times. Those are great moments. I wish her the best at boot camp. Good for her! I admire anyone who can make that commitment and sacrifice. (I am certain I'd wash out before day 2.)

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    1. Thanks, Eva. Always good to see you!

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  6. Thanks so much for your lovely comment on my blog. It touched my heart. I did something pagan today and worship the earth and took a long hike looking for spring flowers, singing birds and trying to avoid spider webs and ticks! Sorry this day brings a reminder of tragedy to your door.

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    1. Tabor, thank you. I am enjoying everyone's excursions out into nature. The closest I got today was watching the wind whip the trees around outside my window. But the sun was shining and the greenery is gorgeous. Good enough for today!

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  7. That was nice. I love to laugh. It feels so good!

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  8. Wow. I'm sorry for your loss and moved by your honesty. Thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you, Patty. I appreciate your visit.

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  9. I have always loved the month of May because I feel the energy of hope all around me. Getting past a tragedy as horrible as your family has had to bare, seems daunting. You seem to be on the right road to a recovery of spirit and I wish you well.

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    1. Thanks. :) May is a great month of rebirth. My neighbor is borrowing a patch of my yard to garden because he doesn't have a yard of his own. The kids and I go out and check out the new stuff that is starting to come up. Spring and summer are full of wonderful surprises. Life does insist upon moving forward!

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  10. I am really sorry for your loss, Wendy. And in awe of the way you hold yourself in the face of it.

    I am late to this, because I am bad about checking my reader, so I will be late to heed your words. But today I will try to do everything you listed. Because you asked. And you are so much more than a stranger on the internet.

    Big hugs.

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  11. Ouch, Wendy. This is a powerful post, with powerful thoughts. I agree, though--grief of your nephew's kind has its place, and many people can't deal any other way, but the best--the *very* best--way to honor a loved one that is no longer here is by *living*, by celebrating the gift of life, by seeking the oneness in the world that surrounds us. Great, great post!

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  12. How can it be possible to move on from something like that? Your tribute to her is lovely and optimistic, choosing to find the joyful through the tragic.

    Although I didn't see this on May 1st, I think your call to action is a good one for every day of the year.

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  13. Your beautiful evocations of your niece's short life always take my breath away. Some much love and pain mixed together.

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  14. Touching post. Sometimes the world just sucks but I will do my best to follow your request and try to improve it the tiniest of bits today and everyday.

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