Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Merry Month of May

When we were in elementary school, the first day of May was a wonderful holiday. We dressed up more than just our everyday school clothes - though not quite in our Sunday best. During the day - I don't remember whether it was during recess or lunch hour or whether it was a special part of the program - we all went out to the playground and wrapped the May Pole.

It was really just the flag pole or the tether ball pole, but long ribbons had been attached to the top and we had to bob under and around each other to braid it beautifully all the way to the bottom. Memory can be a funny thing, and I'm really not sure if we actually had music while we did it, or if I always just have a song in my mind and bring my own accompaniment but it seems there was music.

Our seventh grade teacher was also the choir teacher and we had a little chorus that sang for special occasions. I loved Mrs. Bright. She was young and pretty and read stories to us right after lunch before we started again into classes. I would draw intricate designs in my notebook and color them while she read. That was a pleasant memory that surfaced thinking about school. Off subject.

Much later, May Day became associated with displays of military might in other countries which spoiled the beauty of the day for me. I always wanted to remember soft sunny days, warm breezes and lovely, bright colored ribbons being wound around the pole and what fun we had doing it. Life seemed much more pleasant then and certainly more simple.

 Memory softens some of the rough edges. I also remember a big sixth grader tripping me - on purpose - when I was in the third grade. I fell on my face on the front stone steps of the old two story black rock elementary school and chipped my front tooth. I was snaggle-toothed until high school when a kind dentist finally filed away part of it to help even it out. So maybe life wasn't so much more pleasant - just more simple.

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