This is the time of year when my senses are taken over by the vivid colors of the flowers, the extraordinary scents, the sweet sound of birds and the buzzing of bees ~ and it all makes me want to run barefoot through a field, picking flowers as the sun shines down and a gentle breeze cools me.
In May, the Earth out does herself with so much beauty and abundance!
Even the sky puts on a show as the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, begins to rise just before sunrise on the horizon.
Many a night I saw the Pleiades, rising thro’ the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
In ancient times, the Celts held a big, wonderfully fun celebration known as Beltane, marking the beginning of summer and honoring Life and the hope of an abundant harvest.
Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year ~
it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.
On the eve of Beltane (April 30), the Celts built two large bonfires believed to be sacred, having great healing and purifying powers. The animals were driven through the center of the fires before taken to their summer pasture to graze to insure fertility, luck and protection.
This is such great fun. I got to dance and sing around a Maypole last year at a Beltane celebration I went to. Something I will never forget!
Summer set lips to Earth’s bosom bare
and left the flushed print in a poppy there.
~ Francis Thompson
At that celebration, a story was told about the Queen of the Faeries who rides a white horse. Apparently, on Beltane Eve, she tries to entice people to Faeryland, and it’s not the one by my house.
I’m going to listen tomorrow night for Her horse’s bells and be sure to hide my face so She passes me by. If She does see my face, She just might choose me.
I’m told that one such man known as Thomas the Rhymer was chosen by the Queen and has not been seen since. Ugh-oh!
True Thomas sat on Huntley Bank
And he beheld a lady gay
A lady that was brisk and bold
Came riding o’er the ferny brae
Her skirt was of the grass green silk
Her mantle of the velvet fine
At every lock of her horse’s mane
Hung 50 silver bells and nine.
True Thomas, he pulled off his cap
And bowed him low down to his knee
All hail, though mighty Queen of Heaven
You like on earth I ne’re did see.
No, no Thomas, she said
That name does not belong to me
I am the queen of fair Elf Land
And I have come to visit thee.
I’m getting up before dawn on May 1 to gather the morning dew to sprinkle it on myself and my family to insure health and happiness for the rest of the year ~ it’s an old Celtic tradition on Beltane. Maybe you’ll give it a try, too?
Be like a flower
and turn your face to the sun.
~ Kahlil Gibran