April Showers are Bringing May Flowers!

At Winter Solstice, the light begins to return – gradually, the memory of the long nights fades until the light and dark are equal on Spring Equinox. From that point on,  the light returns more rapidly and on May 1st we arrive at the midpoint between equinox and Summer Solstice.

Today, my sunrise was at 5:52am CDT and my sunset will be at 7:58pm … more than 14 hours of daylight, adding 2 hours since the equinox. By the end of May, we will have added 49 more minutes of daylight!

May your May days be filled with sunlight, flowers … and kissable snouts!

(Place your cursor over the photos to read the hovers!*)

Beltane, celebrated on May 1st, is one of the cross quarter holidays from the pagan Wheel of the Year. It is  “the celebration of life, the land, the union of mankind with the mother earth and the purification and rebirth of all things”.

As with all earth based holidays, we celebrate what we see around us in nature: the weather is warmer, plants and flowers are blooming, wildlife is more active and we are energized by what we see and feel. Beltane is about the sheer joy of life and taking part in it.

This advice for Beltane should sound familiar to progressives:

Being on a spiritual path of any kind is not a part time thing. It is a way of life, and that is an everyday thing. It is not enough to make a commitment to spirit if you don’t carry that through all your thoughts and actions for the rest of the year.

Go out and enjoy the day, leap a bonfire (carefully), dance around a maypole and listen to some stirring music from Loreena McKennitt performing the Huron Beltane Fire Dance:

To all my pagan and non-pagan friends alike: “Bright Blessings on Beltane!”

Let’s reaffirm our commitment to our spiritual and progressive path and dedicate ourselves to the work that, quite clearly, still needs to be done.

(Crossposted from Views From North Central Blogistan)

This post is a rerun, with revised dates, because the holidays – and their celebratory posts – are on an infinite loop … or more precisely, the Wheel of The Year! ;)

*Hover text for those on tablets and smartphones:
Row 1: ‘All things seem possible in May.’ ~ Edwin Way Teale
Row 2: ‘since the thing perhaps is to eat flowers and not to be afraid’ ~ E.E. Cummings
Row 3: ‘A weed is but an unloved flower.’ ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
‘The earth laughs in flowers.’ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Row 4: ‘In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.’ ~ Kakuzō Okakura”
‘A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.’ ~ Victor Hugo”
Row 5: ‘Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.’ ~ Kahlil Gibran
Row 6: ‘Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…’ ~ Susan Polis Schutz”
‘I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.’ ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
Row 7: ‘I must have flowers, always, and always.’ ~ Claude Monet”
Row 8: ‘Don’t wait until people are dead to give them flowers.’ ~ Sean Covey


  1. Happy Beltane!

    This post has been recycled each year since May 2014 but this year I was struck by the parting comment:

    Let’s reaffirm our commitment to our spiritual and progressive path and dedicate ourselves to the work that, quite clearly, still needs to be done.

    We can never sit back and say “there, done” because that is not how it works. Each generation has to learn anew that a progressive path is not a super-highway, that often we are forced to take a few steps back to go around some obstacle put in front of us. The important thing is that we progress , that we continue forward.

  2. Thank you for the post, Jan, which I greatly enjoyed reading. I especially liked the hover about dancing while wearing wildflowers in our hair. Have always wanted to do that.

    At this time of year all the songs I learned in Glee Club in my last year of high school keep coming to mind:

    Now is the time for maying
    When merry lads are playing
    Fa la la la la, fa la la la la la
    Each with his merry lass,
    A-dancing on the grass.

    And this one:

    The moon shines bright, the stars will give their light
    A little before ’tis day
    Awake, awake, O pretty, pretty maid
    Out of your drowsy dream
    And step into your dairy below
    And fetch me a bowl of cream.

    (Something something about a hawthorn branch)

    ‘Tis naught but a sprout, but well budded out
    Tomorrow’s the first of May…

    One of the most delightful experiences of my life was being taken to a pub on the Helmsley-Harome Road in Yorkshire on a spring evening. “What’s that scent?” I asked the family friend who had driven us there. “Oh, that’ll be the may,” the friend said.

    The may! Immediately I thought of the Alfred Noyes poem, “Sherwood”:

    Doublets of the Lincoln green, glancing through the may
    In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

    LOL, I’ve gone on a trip down Memory Lane!

    Thanks again for the post. I do love this time of year!

  3. Happy Beltane to All. It is a way of life and the way to Life – and that way is never straight or easy. But flowers help. {{{HUGS}}} to all.

  4. Thanks Jan…..I so enjoy reading this post. Pups, flowers, and wise words to remember as we change the season.

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