Month: May 2015

MIDLIFE MUSINGS: ‘Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun’ – Kahlil Gibran

I adore May. It makes me think of frolicking barefoot in spring meadows in Laura Ashley frocks (I’ve never actually done that; I don’t actually wear frocks). It reminds me of, in days gone by, drinking pink fizz in sunny courtyards of city bars (usually at lunchtimes, and being good for nothing when I got back to the office). It brings back memories of our spring wedding, when I sent my bridesmaid into the garden to pick fresh daisies for my hair, and where children danced around the maypole for us, accompanied by a comical Captain Pugwash-esque accordion. I also love May because it is my birthday, and I like to make this last pretty much the entire month. I share this pleasure with several close friends who also have May birthdays (two of them on the very same day! The cheek of it!). All in all, I can rely on May to put me in an amazing mood, and (don’t tell the kids, mind!) I’ll say yes to pretty much anything. As Smokey Robinson sang, ‘I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.’

But even for the rest of you poor souls who do not, as I do, have the excuse to drink pink fizz most days, May is a cracking month. It is cherry blossom and birds cheeping and bank holidays; it is pottering in the garden with warm sun on our backs. It is sitting outside on a blanket instead of inside under it; and it is, after the dark nights and rainy days, feeling like the worst is over – or (even better) forgetting that it ever happened at all.

The author D. Miller wrote of May, ‘Crowds gather outside pubs, the women in their retrieved summer wardrobes, the men loosening their ties, thrusting out their hips and reminding themselves that they are married. (An early 18th-century marchioness vowed to be chaste for the whole year, but couldn’t swear to May.) It isn’t only sex that is in the air. For a few weeks, while the warmth lasts, everything is possible. This year will be better than last. You will be a better you.’

May sunshine is perfect for reflection and daydreaming, but also for digging deep and doing. You can rely on May for inspiration and creation. Try some May mindfulness: turn your face to the sun, close your eyes, and think about how you want your life to be. If there’s something new you want to try, or something you want to change, May will say, get on with it then! Do it now, while you have this spring in your step! Go buy plants! Write poems! Sand down tables! Paint pictures! Book courses! Buy festival tickets! Do what you can, while the spring juices are flowing and the May madness is naughtily egging you on. As Mark Twain said, ‘It’s spring fever … You don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!’

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