Saturday, May 12, 2012

May – mothers, moons and memorials

Supermoon - photo courtesy of Sky-watcher and Google Images

Gemstone: Emerald
Astrology: Gemini and Taurus
Flower: Lily of the Valley and Hawthorne


Selected Poem:
Song on May Morning (1632-33)
“Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.” - John Milton

There is a rule of thumb in Denver, CO:  plant your tomatoes or any non-cold-hardy vegetables right around Mother’s Day. May is our month for planting safely without a frost (well, most years anyway). Alas, after gardening my fingers into dirty brown digits – preparing the yard for planting, building up the beds with more eco-compost, purchasing vegetable and marigold starts, and finding a moment to gently plant them in the ground, all the while weeding and watering – I have found a moment for a quick post.  
My Austrian Copper Rose (Rose foetida) - incredibly hardy yet ephemeral

Ah, May.  It is the fifth month of our calendar year which features the season of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.  May derived its name from the Greek word Maia (the Goddess of Fertility) and in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere it is indeed a very fertile month. Flowers burst their buds, trees leaf out, grasses turn green, birds incubate their eggs, and the icy grip of winter is a mere memory.  It’s a month with many events.

During the month of May, the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored by Catholics throughout the world, as well as mothers and nurses who have been given their own special day to appreciate them for all they do for those they care for. Happy Mother's Day to Lee (my mom in heaven) who taught me that preparing good healthy food is a language of love. The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Indy 500 are raced in the U.S., and soldiers who lost their lives serving in the U.S. military are remembered on Memorial Day, while those serving in the armed forces are recognized on Armed Forces Day.  Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico’s victory in 1862 over French forces in Puebla, is widely celebrated in Mexico and the U.S., as is Asian Pacific Heritage Month; and cycling enthusiasts celebrate the second week of May with National Bike Week.  This month we were blessed with a “Supermoon” – a full moon on May 6th appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter due to a closer orbit around Earth during its perigee (221,802 miles).  Because of clouds and rain, the show was not to be had for me in Denver. However, later this month the moon will continue to draw attention to herself on May 20-21 with an annular eclipse; the moon will pass in front of the sun for about 5 minutes.  To finish off month we have the Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day) holiday to enjoy a 3-day weekend.  Memorial Day sets off opening day for many local swimming pools, so one can begin to practice and prepare for soon-to-be summer. Oh, busy and bounteous May.


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