Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy May

Happy May! There is something magical about walking in a wooded area with a young children and letting them find the beginning of spring poking up through old, dead leaves. I believe this phenomena, with the tradition of May Baskets is especially wonderful in northern Wisconsin. The first weeks of May, one day sunnier and warmer than the next beckons us to walk out of doors and search the ground for the beginnings of life. Children will see the insect and plant world coming to life after a long winter, in awe of the magic unfolding beneath their feet. One may be lucky enough to stumble upon a patch of spring beauties, bloodroot, violets, or trilliums. The beauty of the first glimpse of these flowers brings great joy to the human spirit, whether young or old.
The tradition of bringing flowers to a friend or neighbor in a May basket is a beautiful tradition. A piece of paper, foil, or giftwrap rolled into a cone shape makes an easy basket. The flowers will not last a day, but the warm memories of that day are everlasting.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers are great at keeping the May basket tradition alive for each new generation of children. I recall fondly the smiles on the faces of each of my children as they gave me their May Baskets of flowers. They so enjoyed this simple act of kindness and beauty that May baskets appeared in my house even into August!
I hope you take a few moments to take a walk in a woods this May, whether you are young or old, whether you do it solo, recalling your own childhood, or whether you do it to introduce a child to the wonder of spring. I would also invite you to join me with your youngster on Saturday, May 12, to view the beautiful garden at the home of Ruth and Paul Meszaros. The Garden Tours this summer are a joint venture of the Garden Clubs of Rusk County and the Rusk Area Arts Alliance. I will be writing ‘Poems of the Moment’ in Little Sprout cards that your youngster can give a mother, auntie, or grandmother for Mother’s Day.

There stands a little man in the deep dark woods
He stands there on one leg in the deep dark woods
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep,dark woods?

He stands there on one leg, bending to and fro
And all that he can do is to stand and grow
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep, dark woods?

This song is from “Hansel and Gretel”

Drawing by Grandpa Glenn Bedward

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