May Day

The older neighborhood girls knew exactly how to set up the May Day production line. They carefully crafted small cones out of colored construction paper.  Then they scotch-taped paper handles so that the freshly hand-picked flowers could be beautifully tucked inside.

My job, as the youngest and most gullible, was to run up to each neighbor’s front door, carefully place the taped floral arrangement on the door knob, ring the door bell, and run away before I could be seen.

My floral-creating comrades were at a safe distance watching from a discreet location. Catching my breath, we’d all wait for each door to open and see how our May Day gift would be appreciated. 

Of course, we were too far away to really hear anything, but we got to enjoy the smiles, and the glancing up and down the street to see if they could spot the kind culprits.

It was a short-lived ritual, because we grew up too fast. But I remember those May Days and I miss the kinship of kindness that they offered. With the advent of porch pirates and security cameras, it will never be the same.

But what hasn’t changed is our need to be kind to our neighbors. The complexity of modern life has made it more challenging, but not impossible to offer little tokens of appreciation to the ones who share the spaces close to us. 

How, what, when, where, and who are all up to you. 

As for me? I mailed floral-covered post cards to my neighbors—just to let them know I’m thinking of them (and just for old-time’s sake, I placed a flower-filled cone on my closest neighbor’s mailbox).

Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31

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