Return to Content

The Pleasures of May

The Pleasures of May
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)
Print Friendly

Maybe this month is called “May” because of all the new things that are possible.

“A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road…” so goes the catchy bossa nova song, “The Waters of March,” which lists an inventory of some lovely (and brutal) things unearthed in the torrents of spring. Following March and April comes May, which deserves its own song, perhaps a bossa nova (which coincidentally means “new trend”), we could call it, “The Pleasures of May.”

My score (if I were musically inclined) would include the loon’s new wail, the creaking peepers, and the veery with its very repetitive phrase, (veer-veer-veer-veer) to which I’d add lyrics enumerating these new possibilities:

Open Window
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
Open Window

1. Whereas in winter we try to keep each precious particle of heat inside, now we May open window—at last! the air is free to circulate, to wander in or out as it pleases.

The Grill
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
The Grill

2. The back door to the porch, which was barricaded first by us (to keep the heat in) and then by winter itself (with a wall of snow), is an operable portal again—which we passed through eight times yesterday evening alone to bring out fixings for…the grill! Now we May grill our food!

New Leaves
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
New Leaves

3. My favorite spring magic trick is when trees pull leaves (seemingly) out of their twiggy sleeves. In a matter of days (hours?) every birch, maple, lilac, ash, popple, apple, larch…has manifested these fantastic green things so we May have shade.

Robin's impossibly blue egg
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
Robin’s impossibly blue egg

4. And despite my fierce love of the color green with all its progressively deepening hues, I’m a fool for robin’s egg blue. In the past few days the birds wreathed a nest and laid two cerulean eggs in the cedar tree beside the barn door. Though I may never understand how eggs become this exquisite color, we May have more two more singers soon.

Rhubarb
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
Rhubarb

5. Nearby, the garden, which for so many months was just my sleeping genius soil, is revealed and ready to be worked. But some edibles like the fall-planted Garlic, perennial Asparagus and burgeoning Rhubarb, are tending themselves. Except for the minor effort of stooping to harvest, we May have oodles of rhubarb stalks for pie and juice with no exertion on my part.

Pear blossom
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
Pear blossom

6. Surrounding the garden, Pear trees, Plum trees, Apple and Cherry trees– they’re all decked out in lovely petals, which they litter and scatter like yahoos tossing empties out truck windows. Could you imagine cutting up your best dress and tossing the scraps to the breeze? Me, neither. But these trees—they just let it all go…so that we May have fruit later on.

The Adirondack Chair
Photo/Art by Julia Shipley
The Adirondack Chair

 7. And even if really there is so much to do that I won’t finish it all till mid November, having an Adirondack chair on the lawn facing the distance suggests rest, repose, reverie. Between frenzies of work, I May sit and marvel at the natural world as it continues to issue its astonishing new trends.

Tags:
Julia Shipley

Author:

Julia Shipley

Biography:

Contributing editor, Julia Shipley's stories celebrate New Englanders' enduring connection to place. She digs up facts and stats for each issue's "By The Numbers" feature; she's also the author of Yankee's "Vermont Rural Life" blog, as well the Yankee Plus column, "The Farmer's Life." An award winning poet, her long-form lyric essay, Adam's Mark was selected as one of the Boston Globe's Best New England Books of 2014.
Updated Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
CVR1_YK0516_210h

Bring New England Home

Subscribe for 1 year for only $19.97!

A 44% saving!

BUY NOW!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

©2016, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111