May Day conjures up images of maypoles and children frolicking among sweet new spring flowers. Last week, I came upon the following scene at the American Botanical Council’s annual Herb Day.
I snapped this shot after the interweaving dance had progressed quite far, and the adults were having to bend down to weave under each other’s ribbons. Even clad in modern clothes, the image of this intergenerational group carrying out this ritual struck a timeless chord in me. I loved watching the two circles of people moving in opposite directions, passing each other over and over again, creating such a physical symbol of community connectedness. A mother carried her infant child, a couple of toddlers spun around the pole, one modest 13-year-old carefully tread her path, plus a few grandparents laughingly wove their way.
Meanwhile, in the background the good folks of the American Botanical Council (ABC) were selling small starts of local herbs for people to take home and plant. We were surrounded by their prolific and lovely teaching herb garden. I was fascinated to discover earlier this year that this national group is based right here in Austin. An independent nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information about medicinal plants, they produce a wonderful quarterly peer-reviewed perodical called HerbalGram with educational articles on herbs, including many Ayurvedic ones. ABC was a perfect setting to celebrate May and the gifts of the garden.
At the end of the maypole dance, what I had not anticipated was the final result – a beautiful basket-weave of ribbons covering the entire pole, a perfect testament to the beauty of our intricately overlapping lives.
I hope your spring is full of dancing and unexpected beauty!