Poets extolling May's virtues clearly had less to do
Last updated 4/27/2022 at 4pm | View PDF
May, the fifth month of the year, is named after Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility, spring and growth. Its attributes have been noted by a variety of poets over the years.
Like Stephen Foster -
"We roamed the fields and river sides,
When we were young and gay;
We chased the bees and plucked the flowers,
In the merry, merry month of May."
and John Burroughs -
"When purple finches sing and soar ...
With vernal gladness running o'er -
When joys like these salute the sense ...
Then waiting long hath recompense,
And all the world is glad with May."
Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
But I must not be fooled by these pleasant passages scripted by dreamy poets. One glance at the calendar lets me know I will not be spending the 31 days of May chasing bees, plucking flowers or listening to the finches sing.
Instead, I will be doing the following:
• listening to Ainsley play clarinet during the spring band concert (where I am also passing out carnations to eighth-graders), pre-game at a Thunderbolts minor league baseball game and the eighth-grade graduation ceremony
• remembering my mom by participating in the Walk for Wellness House
• hosting my friend and former grad school roommate for an overnight visit
• coordinating and/or participating in several activities for Teacher Appreciation Week at Ainsley's school
• celebrating Mother's Day (once I figure out what I want to do!)
• attending book club
• going to two memorial services
• listening to Ainsley sing during her final Spirito concert
• making sure Ainsley gets to all her graduation band, marching band, jazz band and choir rehearsals prior to aforementioned performances
• teaching Madison School kids about community journalism during "High Interest Days"
• watching the Cubs take on the Pirates at Wrigley Field
• enjoying a long overdue massage
• attending and reporting on one village board meeting and one school board meeting
• getting my teeth cleaned
• watching the Memorial Day procession in town and then hosting our annual mini-Memorial Day block party (yes, I know it's a misplaced modifier but I like the alliteration)
I know I'm not the only one with a busy schedule.
In Hinsdale alone, the list of May events includes the Walk for Wellness, Hinsdale Cooks Kitchen Walk, Restaurant Week, Walk the Walk for Mental Health and the Memorial Day parade.
It's also National Preservation Month, Mental Health Awareness Month and ALS Awareness Month. Several organizations, from those supporting pets to prayer, will be observing a special week in May. Foodies must be super-busy this month as well, with 40 special days dedicated to everything from asparagus to escargot and coconut cream pie to cherry cobbler.
I'm exhausted just thinking about all of it.
Of course May has a single attribute all other months lack. It is the last month before summer. Not meteorological summer, which is a concept I do not endorse, but school-year summer. When Ainsley stops going to school five days a week, I stop working five days a week and switch to a part-time schedule that lasts into August.
So, while I might not have time to appreciate the darling buds of May, come June, I'll have plenty of time to stop and smell the roses.
- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].