Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day 2014

Traditionally May Baskets, small baskets filled with flowers or treats were left at someone's doorstep on the first day of May to celebrate May Day. The giver rang the bell and ran away, prompting the  receiver to try to catch the fleeing giver.  If caught, a kiss was exchanged. Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary from region to region, emphasizing the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) or "Red Root" (labor) traditions.

I fondly remember a year my younger son's grade school teacher in Ashwaubenon, Wi, had the kids make paper baskets and fill them with goodies to hang on the doors of neighbors who patiently tolerated the noise, activity, and occasional errant playground ball from nearby Valley View.

May Day basket

After arriving at LaGurdia in pouring rain, we awoke to a sunny May Day allowing us to enjoy the spring flowers I'd remembered from my youth in Stamford, Connecticut.

Our first stop was the First Presbyterian Church where I was confirmed.  Designed by Wallace K. Harrison, the sanctuary's shape has been likened to a fish, a symbol used in early Christianity.  The fish shape is apparent both in the profile and in the floor plan of the structure.

While we didn't venture into the sancturay, I remember it well from many Sunday mornings spent gazing at the stained glass windows depicting the story of the Crucifixion and of the resurrection. A 32 foot high cross faced with wood from the Canterbury Cathedral in England dominates the Chancel.

Our destination was the Memorial Garden to view a plaque honoring my mother, a long-time member of the church priot to their move south for retirement.    So glad to see it's being well-cared for filled with colorful blooms!

Some stunning plant combinations

Golden bleeding heart & daffodils
Hellebores & heuchera 

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