Sunday, May 01, 2011

Happy May Day!

It's sheer coincidence that I closed my last evening's blog with a picture of our sunset, and this morning I read that some places in England open their May Day celebrations with the April 30th sunset. 

When I think of May Day, I think of May baskets, May poles and ribbons, processions, little girls wearing flowers in their hair, and the Catholic custom of placing a crown on the statue of Blessed Mother Mary.  It was my honor in high school to place the crown on Mary.  I wore my cousin's wedding dress and veil as I carefully climbed up a four-step ladder in order to reach the top of Mary's head.  The congregation sang, "On This Day, Oh Beautiful Mother," which is one of two of my favorite hymns reverencing Mary, the other being, "Ave Maria."

The term May Day has even more significance than the springtime dramas that unfold this time of year..... 
  • May Day is an emergency code word used internationally as a distress signal in radio communications.  It derives from the French 'venez 'm'aider, which means "come help me." 
  • The May Day signal is used primarily by mariners and aviators, but in some countries police forces, firefighters, and transportation personnel, may also use the term.
  • The call is always given three times in a row (Mayday Mayday Mayday) to prevent mistaking it for some other similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call.
  • A potential Mayday situation is one in which a vessel, aircraft, vehicle, or person is in grave and imminent danger and needs immediate help.  Example situations would be a fire, explosion, or sinking.
  • The Mayday emergency code is like a Morse code SOS, or the telephone call to 911.
I'm pleased to be able to say that my blog will be celebrating it's 1-year birthday on May 15th.  It's hard for me to believe that one year has passed by since I apprehensively wrote that first entry entitled "Spring Green."  Not counting today's blog, I've posted a total of 352 blogs.

Life gives us all sorts of birthdays throughout the year besides the one relating to our date of birth.  Any new start gives cause for celebrating, and celebrations are a good thing.  They just are.