Most of us can recall the 2012 incident where Prince Harry was surreptitiously caught unawares and totally bare (naked, nude) in a hotel room in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The entire affair saturated the media for almost a week and earned the ginger royal and naked highness a stern, private rebuke from his grandmother, H. M. Queen Elizabeth II. It seems that nudity was not considered appropriate behavior for a person of his rank and stature as a scion of the Windsor Dynasty. However, no one lost their head in the matter and his grandmother is still queen.
This upcoming Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day in the USA. It is a date, always the second Sunday in May, that is set aside for celebrating and honoring mothers and the job that they do. In this country, the date was designated through a proclamation issued by then-president Woodrow Wilson in 1914. It has been the same date ever since, the second Sunday in May. The occasion is not limited to just the USA. The date may be different but almost every country has a day for honoring mothers and motherhood.
Last week, as an afterthought, I was sent to the my state’s conference on HIV/AIDS which is held annually throughout the state. It has been a number of years since I’ve attended one and I was anxious to see what, if any, personnel changes had occurred since the last time I was present at one. The convocation was sponsored by the state-wide health department and featured a number of guest presenters from across the southeastern region of the USA.
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 5, 2018, is World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD). Observed on the first Saturday in May, annually, this is the day in which everyone is encouraged to do their gardening tasks while completely clothes-free. World Naked Gardening Day was first celebrated in 2005 and this year marks it’s 14th year. The occasion was always on an agreed date and in 2007, it was decided to keep the date on the first Saturday of May. No matter what our gardening needs are, this is as good a time as any to get things in order.
May 1, 2018. May Day. Not the parade of the military armaments available to help destroy the capitalist oppressors of the working proletariat. Those days are hopefully and permanently part of our collective past. What we are commemorating today is the joyous triumph of the flowers over the gloom and drudgery of the wintry barrenness – the delight of color and vitality over the dreary and the drab. The renewal of life after a long and cold Winter. A celebration of life itself!
I remember during primary school, we always had a May Day Celebration that always ended with us students dancing around a maypole while weaving colored streamers down the pole. There was always a faun – a mythical creature of the forest intent on creating mischief – who attempted to sabotage the maypoles by tearing down the colorful and decorative streamers.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to remember how we ever prevented the school faun from destroying our class maypole. The mischief-maker was always an upperclassman from the intermediate school (early teen years) so I can’t imagine any of us primary schoolers even offering a serious defense of our handiwork.
One memory that I am absolutely certain about are the floral headbands and bouquets that we were forced to wear. Yes, they definitely added color and a festive ambiance to our celebration, however, they also attracted bees!
Fortunately, none of us ever got stung by any of our uninvited guests and luckily none of us were allergic to bee-venom. I don’t know if it was the faun or our dancing around the maypole that made the guests behave.
To the best of my knowledge, most May Day observances have fallen by the wayside. It is a pity as they were a very non-sectarian event to celebrate the wonders of Spring that totally lacked any spiritual significance. An innocuous activity that allowed children to be themselves and simply enjoy being alive.