Today I had one of those afternoons that reminds me of being a little girl. I spent time with my favorite 82-year-old friend in Goshen at her lovely lakefront home. Before heading over there, I had a real flashback to childhood May Day celebrations when, for some reason, I always felt compelled to gather violets into old strawberry baskets handwoven and tied with ribbons, delivering these in the predawn hours on neighbors’ porches. This afternoon, I gathered a salad full of wild violet leaves and flowers for David and me, but then picked another bag to gift to my friend. This extra bag of edible flowers and nature’s tender “lettuce” was an even bigger hit than her requested bag of dandelion greens!
Unbeknownst to me as a little girl, May Day represents a celebration of flowers and ribbons, and Beltane’s fire festival honors the Earth in preparation for an abundant growing season. Looking out on our wild new yard today, I saw a meadow in full bloom with a harvest I didn’t plant. When we lived in Madison, we had a couple wild violet plants that barely flowered yet still allowed for occasional salad touches. We had both longed for more violets than we knew what to do with. Well! Ask and you shall receive. The below photo shows only a tiny portion of the violets currently dancing their purple and white flowers around our yard:
To my surprise, we also have the tulips I mentally requested in the dead of winter:
Squirrels or someone with a quirky sense of natural style planted tulips and daffodils in the strangest places around our property. I’ve enjoyed watching them burst into color along with the dandelions, violets and creeping Charlie. Speaking of plants responding to my mental requests, today, my 82-year-old friend gave me three blackberry canes to replant in our yard. That request only just went out! We now have blackberries working double duty as fruit bearers and bramble discouragement to people cutting through our yard. Our landlord is working on the back fence for squash and melons as I type, and tomorrow we will actually put soil into the raised beds.
This yard will take some major work to turn into the wild, permaculture, medicinal, 4-season garden, faery haven in my mind. I have spent weeks hauling mulch from huge piles into foot deep beds and hugelkultur in various spots across the yard. Mulch is freakin’ heavy!!!! This weekend, I had just begun to wonder if I am not completely off my rocker to have taken on such an ambitious project, but the colorful bursts of flowers and huge harvests of free greens have changed my tune. I remembered that I made a pact with the Spirits of the Land to honor this forgotten piece of property and love it into a productive, beautiful, healing relationship with humans. I can feel the faeries smiling. Our yard is wild, but happy right now. And so am I.
Beltane Blessings and Happy May Day!