I can’t believe today is the first day of May. It seems unreal that we are already here. Today is a national holiday in Germany and it is the German Labor Day. I have been reading and listening about May day to see what is up today all over Berlin. Historically, this day was ripe with protests on behalf of workers rights. Now I hear two different camps around the city. The first is still to remember workers rights. The ATMs are shut down, the stores are closed, people have the day off of work and the historical protests are still on. There is one that has turned into more of a riot each year and the city is preemptively doing what it can to slow that down. The other camp is the random rave and party camp. Somehow today has turned into a party scene in Berlin in certain locations and a few of my German friends have made a tradition of setting up their own liquor selling stand to make a few extra bucks this evening.
May day has held a variety of meanings for me as well. When I was a little girl, it meant picking flowers in our yard and putting them in a homemade holder that hung on a door handle. The idea was to leave the flowers, ring the door bell and run, leaving an icon of spring on the front door. We also had Maypoles and danced around them with pretty ribbon, It was an adaptation of a pagan celebration of Spring (as it turns out) adopted by US schools and given to small children to continue.
As a pastor, a few years ago, we also took on the tradition for fighting and protesting for workers rights. I have marched in a few marches to show my support of fair wages and equal rights.
For all of it, I had forgotten it completely until a few days ago because for us May 1st means the beginning of a few months of running around a bit more. This morning I put Ana on a plane to the US for a few weeks for work conferences in Cleveland and Florida. I am staying in Berlin which just seems like a twist of events. We will be both home for a couple of weeks and then I am flying to the states to be with family. This day seems like the kick off of a season of travel and some separation which is both exciting and we both were not looking forward to letting go of our hands today and being separate. May 1 does also signifying something in me that is a changing of seasons. True, we have officially been in Spring for a week and a half or so but there is something about May blooming all over. The sleeves get shorter, the bike gets more use, the dogs get anxious to be outside as much as possible a little more, people are sitting outside and the city is waking back up.
What is May for you? Will you march today? Will you dance in flowers? Will you start new things or travel to new places?