The May Queen is crowned and Bel, Celtic god of Fire, the Sun and of Summer has arrived, at least temporarily! It's from his name that we get the word Beltaine.
By his side walks Bridgit, Bride; she has reclaimed the year from The Winter Hag, The Cailleach, and will rule over the light half of the year. She's here, in the flowers, and the smiles of the bearers of those flowers.
Perhaps it's him in particular that we honour with this symbol of the masculine. Also symbolic of The World Tree, the Axis Mundi, central pole between the three lands of the Otherworld.
May's blossoms have been spectacular, the orchard has been drenched with the smell of fruit trees in blossom, it makes my heart sing and a small corner of my busy little human mind has already started plotting all the delicious things that can be made with fruit and stored for winter, whilst another corner of that same mind mutters about counting chickens and hatching.
And speaking of singing and hatching; there have been some strange and beautiful and sometimes sad sights here recently. The strangest has perhaps been this young female blackbird who took up residence on the bench and was not to be moved. She was there for some of every day for a week, standing her ground. She's gone now, hopefully having found less obvious places to sit. There are plenty of cats here, each of my three neighbours has three cats, so sitting on a bench in broad daylight is probably not the wisest course of action for any avian.
There has also been one VERY successful male blackbird strutting about the garden; every time I've seen him he's had his mouth full. I'm pretty sure that he's been one among many, but perhaps they've all been successful at different times and I only notice each of them when they are emanating pride and 'look at me I'm a savage hunter feeding my babies with my trophies' vibes.
There have clearly been some nests that will not be producing any more birds this year; always a poignant reminder of the tiny tendril of light that is life, so easily extinguished.
As are empty eggs with yolk marks in them, a sure sign that they were emptied by a predator, rather than the emergence of a fledgling. Although obviously if this was a blog read by badgers and foxes this would be a delightful sight telling tales of happy full bellies and a good night's endeavours.
I found a blackbird fledgling by the side of a wall, a bit discombobulated after his first flight. Luckily the cat's hereabouts didn't find him before he remembered he could fly.
Perhaps this was his egg? It's broken open on the side you can't see and as clean as a whistle inside.
All month the hedgerows have been full to bursting with good things to eat for everyone.
Sorrel (above) and Wild Garlic (below) being two of my absolute favourites.
They make a wonderful addition with Pansies, primrose flowers and Violas to a really beautiful and delicious salad.
At the end of May Day's celebrations here, when everyone has gone home and the quiet comes back to the valley
After the hilarious duck race,
Fergus and I bimble home, up thought the woods.
past the Wray brook on it's way to join the River Bovey,
along a well worn path, by bluebells, taking care not to offend the fairies by picking any.
Under the roof bosses of the cathedrals of trees.
Past the unspiraling of Spring in all her glory.
Out into the yellow and green fields of summer.
And then home.
Where there always seems to be a reminder - that there is so much to love in the world, so much worth protecting, so much worth taking into consideration with every choice we make.