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.