NHT's Writing Desk

May Day

Random Thoughts - Forgotten Memories
or, what happens when the shy are chosen 


shyness has been a lifelong companion 
but never more so than the last saturday in april of my 14th year –
the parish was choosing who would crown Mary,
a lavish parish celebration which began with a community feast …

it was an honour to any 8th grade girl to be chosen – 
spoken of as prelude for most to confirmation –
and the choosing was a lesson in itself,
an opportunity to learn about detachment and faith …
for this choosing wasn’t based on qualifications, or achievement –
but, as mary was chosen by God,
so too was the one who would crown her be chosen by God –

who, in this case, rendered his decision by means of a plastic almond 
(easier on the teeth than the hidden coin, i suppose)
delivered inside cupcakes served to all the 8th grade girls 
once the communal meal was finished, usually a grand potluck –

maypole weaving

may has magic
and mother's day
and happy month of mary

it was the moment every 8th grade girl thought about all year
(so much for detachment)
because whoever got the almond was the chosen one …
she wore a crown and was enthroned and carried
in procession to the church
on the shoulders of young men -
with any luck her crush would be one of them

so here’s how it went down that day for this deathly shy one …
yes, i could've just not taken a cupcake,
but chocolate has such an unspeakable attraction and besides,
what're the odds?
and so it was at that very first bite, 
and at the same time my teeth imprinted deeply on the almond in my cupcake,
a flush rose up from my shoulders and shrouded my head in a fog -
i looked out over the sea of parish girls my age (i was tall)
begging God that this wasn’t the only hidden almond …
as my eyes scanned the bobbing heads of excitement,
my prayer grew more fervent … please take this away from me ... 
i prayed exactly at the very moment i realized 
how my silence would let down so many people …

i teetered on the precipice of indecision,
through the most awful, longest eternity ever 
when at last a voice from across the hall rang out:  
I found it!

i was so grateful my prayer had been answered
that i had to will myself to keep my knees locked …

now fast forward about 30 years and move 3000 miles across the country --
imagine getting out of the blue word that the director of religious education
together with the knights of columbus at the local parish
have chosen your eldest daughter 
to crown mary in the parish’s annual celebrations

one warped thought came to my mind:
you can run, but you can’t hide

Happy May Day 2016  everyone --  if nothing else, 
look to the maypole and see what beauty we can create
when we work together …

all rights reserved


'...ever see a May Pole Dance? 

mary and baby jesus cartoon 'in'

beyond the romanticism:
my sympathies to all mothers