May sings such a sweet song
Mantled in brilliant sunshine, the view from my apartment window kept drawing my gaze last weekend.
Whenever I sat in the living room, I looked intermittently through my veranda railings, whose whiteness created a contrast with sweeps of lawn and blackish brown of newly turned earth in nearby yards. I could almost smell the soil’s musky freshness.
The ground seems to bear few visible scars from winter’s skirmishes; the grass has a vernal lushness from recent rain complemented by occasional hosing.
Down the street I have seen people hoeing front yards and leaning over beds with trowels. I have seen mowers go back and forth in regimented motion. And then back again.
Everywhere, colours are beginning to bloom.
Dandelions, those rebuffed flowers of spring, have begun popping up in lawns; bright emblems of rebirth to some, noxious weeds to many others. Tulips, daffodils and lilac bushes are decorating the area with their ethereal beauty.
Trees are adorning themselves quietly and modestly. On grey days you can still see the skeletal, withered branches of winter beneath the sprinkling of leaves in differing tones of green.
May has always been my favourite month. Yet now my joy is tempered by uncertainty about tomorrow.
Where I came from the sun was assured, the baked Caribbean beaches shone crystal white throughout the year. Alberta’s fickle weather sways between hot flushes and chill reminders of a winter that often chose to reside elsewhere.
Sunny days here are precious and May invites us to embrace them.
She wants us to slow down, to appreciate her quiet charms. She comes garlanded with flowers that suddenly appear as if made curious by warmer temperatures.
I hear the whisper of her clothes in breeze-blown trees. I see her swelling confidence in robins, sparrows and crows that increasingly stalk the grass below my window, in the hibernators that have come out to take the air. I see her agitation in the bees and bugs that keep colliding with the living room window.
So much of modern life is a distraction from simple beauties that surround us. We don’t see the multi-coloured landscape, the varying shades of foliage that decorate roadsides, ignored as traffic passes in a graceless rush.
May, you sing such a sweet song. If only you could stay longer. But she won’t. She can’t. She will merely smile, blush and turn away.
June will be here soon. She will come with greater expectation, more assertive, more richly bejewelled. She will talk in gilded prose to May’s poetic murmur.
So much of May is understated. It is about hope and promise, while June, July and August are about satisfying needs, so we are warm and plumped up for autumn. There is a dreaminess to May: she sings of glories just out of sight, which are around the corner and further down the path.
She is sometimes too modest to point out she is a true glory in herself.
Good luck Tim in Westlock!
My colleague of nearly nine months, Tim Bryant, has returned to The Westlock News.
Fate must have sniggered mischievously when it decided two people with different personalities, backgrounds, journalism histories and nationalities should work together at The Leader. Tim and I, however, developed a good working relationship as we strove weekly to fill the paper. Farewell, Tim.
And good luck in your latest Greatwest adventure.
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