It’s May Day! (Or Beltane, to the Gaelic and Wiccan traditions.) It’s a day when folks in northern temperate time zones officially cast off the shackles of winter and get the heck outside. It’s that point when we’re supposed to receive the payoff for those April showers and surround ourselves with flowers. It’s time to celebrate birdsong and warmth and growth of all things. It’s a day to light bonfires and dance with abandon and wear wreaths of greenery – if possible. (It’s probably for the best that large-scale all-night debauchery has gone mostly out of style, otherwise we’d have to cancel it.)
It also happens to be my maternal grandparents’ wedding anniversary. (If they were alive, it would be the 78th.) My impression as their granddaughter is that their marriage was an incandescent one.
Even though May 1st reminds us that we spent ALL of April isolating ourselves, I also got to know as many neighbours in that one month as I’d been acquainted with in the whole preceding four years. Now that we’re all urgently conscious of how dear our essential outside time is, we are also, I think, finally understanding what a neighbourhood is for (if we didn’t already).
May has always been my favourite, as it involves my birthday AND the best pictures in the nature calendars. I’m sitting out on my porch couch right now, feeling grateful for a pretty day. Our first daffodil of the season is finally making the effort to get herself open.
This week, it’s become official that OELC iArts for June has been cancelled, and Camp NeeKauNis’s programs for the summer will not take place either. This is in addition to the dance performances that have been cancelled, the meetings we can’t have in person, the visits and play dates we opt out of, and – let’s face it, most likely the rest of the school year that has to be replaced with distance school that’s WAY LESS FUN.
Friends, I wish I could see you. I would like to wrap up all the things we do together in a big happy, colourful treasure box and just put them directly into my soul. Because as much as I have been enjoying many things about the past month-and-a-half, and much as I know how fortunate I am, I’m aware of my depletion. I’m often tired when I have no good reason to be. I have shiny to-do lists that I’m itching to take big bites out of, but don’t always have the motivation in me, even when I have the time. Whatever internal chemicals are stimulated by in-person friendship, I figure that it’s the withdrawal from these that gets us down.
Around here, we are finding that just knowing you won’t hang out with your peeps, even if you don’t see them often anyway, makes you yearn for them. Family, old friends, new friends, dance friends, colleague friends, Quaker Friends, mom friends, Camp friends, OELC friends… I MISS YOU.
I miss our conversations, both silly and serious – especially the ones that get unexpectedly real.
I miss sharing meals together, elbow to elbow.
I miss playing games where we all touch ALL the pieces and nobody has to care.
I miss standing around watching our kids play together.
I miss our circles.
I miss listening to you vent, and being able to vent to you.
I miss knowing what’s up with you because I’ve seen you so often.
I miss collaborating and creating with you.
I miss our communal snacks.
I miss sharing jokes in real time, and hearing the collective laughter directly in my ears.
I miss working side-by-side.
I miss cooking and having drinks together.
I miss dinner out together.
I miss sitting around on the couch under the same blanket.
I miss dancing and singing with you.
I miss catching your eye and sharing a smile.
I really miss your hugs: “it’s-been-ages” hugs, “I’m-sorry-you’re-going-through-that” hugs, “yay!!” hugs, and maybe the simple “hi” hugs most of all.
All that being said… I’m grateful I can still call on you for help – and please know you can call on me too.