May is one of my favorite months. It always seems like a light and breezy time of the year. There are many things happening in May that cause people to want to celebrate and, when one person is happy and celebrating, the feeling can be contagious. Maybe this all goes back to my school days, when May meant that another year, of having to spend 8 hours of each school day indoors, was nearly finished. It was a time of softball games, walks in the fields, picking flowers, and playing "dodge ball" with the purple martins.
Our next door neighbor loved purple martins. For those of you who don't know, purple martins are birds. You may wonder how birds can play dodge ball. They're quite good, actually, although they don't really use a ball.
When I would get off my school bus each day, I had to walk past my neighbor's rather long yard. He had several six or seven story birdhouses in his yard, that each held about 20 to 30 purple martins. In the spring, they had little baby birds in their houses, and they are very protective parents. I would step off the bus, take about 10 steps and suddenly, I would hear a high pitched squawk inches above my head. Then I would see the flash of dark feathers dart past me. The mom and dad martins were not going to allow me anywhere near their precious babies. I would lift my stack of school books above my head, and I would do my best to run past that long stretch of grass to my driveway. It was awkward, running with all that weight above my head, but if I didn't put the books up there, I would actually get nipped by the birds as they dived at me. I would, finally, reach my driveway, breathless and shaky. When I would look toward the bird houses, I would see all the adult birds lined up around the houses and they would all be chattering and fussing, about the nerve of that creature who dared to venture near their precious little ones.
You may think that I would hate those birds, for terrifying me each day, but there was a huge benefit to having those dive-bombing, noisy neighbors. You see, we also, had a pond behind our house, and that pond was the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Purple martins are the greatest mosquito catchers ever created. When I was a child, it was very rare for me to have a mosquito bite. What fun it was to play outside on warm summer evenings and never have to deal with those pesky insects. Alas, times change. The purple martins are rarely seen these days. And now, mosquitoes are the critters that make me run for cover. At least, I don't usually have to deal with them in May.
So, I will enjoy May, without purple martins or mosquitoes. I will take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, by gazing at the beautiful blue sky and billowy clouds, sniffing the fragrant flowers, listening to the music of children's laughter, and enjoying the yummy taste of a picnic lunch. I will savor wonderful memories, and my daughters and I will create new ones. May will offer days that tease of the summer to come, and days that will remind us that spring is not quite over. Make the most of each glorius one. May is a wonderful month.
“Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" ~Robin Williams
“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.” ~Loire Hartwould
“I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.” ~William Hazlitt