May Day - A Traditional Day of Celebration
Before it was co-opted by the Communist states of Eastern Europe and Asia as a day to parade their military muscle and before it was co-opted by workers' movements as a day of protest, May Day was a “day of the celebration of Spring for rural and agrarian people”.
We here in rural Nova Scotia are or recently were, of an agrarian nature. We need to get back to our roots, we need to celebrate the coming of Spring! For more than six weeks we have been self-isolating and social distancing - and it seems to be working, given the numbers for Northern Nova Scotia. Now reach way up and then down to give yourself a pat on the back. Well done!
Then, 10 days ago, a gunman commits mass murder in Colchester County. Many of us knew some of the victims or their families. All of us are hurting and trying to make sense of the senseless. We now carry two heavy burdens. We need a release from these burdens.
May Day, with its May Pole, dancing and merry-making are sufficient reason to celebrate. We must also take care of our mental health and emotional health, not just our physical health.
So how are we to celebrate under such restrictions?
We could prepare a special meal, even if it just for those with whom we are isolated. Celebrate the joy of good food and the pleasure of preparing it. Give thanks to the many hands that have produced it and brought it to your table.
Take some time every day, but especially May Day, to meditate, read or just quietly sit and relax and think positive thoughts. Our mental, emotional and spiritual health are at least as important as our physical health.
Since this is a celebration of Spring, let’s get outside and celebrate. Most of us have lots of space, let’s enjoy it. Sit quietly in the early morning and listen to the many bird songs or sit quietly at late dusk and listen to the spring peepers (who are late this year). Watch for the brilliantly coloured male pheasant and hear his raspy call, or if real lucky spot a hawk or an eagle soaring overhead. The coltsfoot is in brilliant yellow bloom, the red maple trees are in flower. Mother Nature presents an almost endless array of ‘spring miracles’. Let us soak ourselves in them!
We are all in this together. Our care for each other, our compassion, and our concern for neighbors will help us through. Reach out by phone to socialize, especially to those you know are alone. It will help them and it will help you. Our Nova Scotia Strong is rooted in our compassion, concern, and care for each other. This is a marathon, but we shall get through it. Take care and celebrate May Day!
District 7 Coun. David parker