Share this Blog



We know what we are, but know not what we may be.

-William Shakespeare



May Day! May Day!

Believe it or not, summer is upon us. In ancient European cultures, today was the traditional summer holiday, and the summer solstice (on June 21) was considered Midsummer.

In ancient Rome, the earliest May Day celebrations occurred with the Festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, vegetation and fertility.

In Great Britain, the maypole, may baskets full of flowers and sweets, and the crowning of the May Queen. Beltane bonfires burned bright the night before, scorching away the old and allowing the new to bloom.

Ah, fertility and renewal. That’s the root of May Day. Plants begin to flower, and the cycle of renewal is upon us once again.

It’s the perfect time to renew yourself. Here in the eastern United States, yesterday was a day drenched in downpours and flooding. But today? Gorgeous. The sun is shining, the trees are just beginning to bloom, and the flowers have opened.

What a metaphor for life, no?

One day is solid gray, soaking you to the bone. Dismal, dank, dreary. And the next? Brilliant, bold, fresh.


There are three kinds of people in this world:

People who make it happen,

People who watch what happens, and

People who wonder what happened.

–Tommy Lasorda

            It’s the day to make things happen – whatever that thing (or things) may be.

Don’t have a plan? Make one.

Don’t have a direction? Find one.

Don’t know how? Find someone who can help.

Don’t have a clue? Yes you do – they’re all around you.

Do you want to do something? Just start.

It won’t be easy and it won’t be simple. You have to work at it.

With that in mind, May 1st is also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. How coincidental (or not), that May Day is also International Worker’s Day, which celebrates the international labor movement. With roots in farm labor, the movement grew, blossomed and spread. And, believe it or not, May 1st is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

So, it’s no wonder it’s a time of celebration, renewal and work. These may seem disparate concepts, but upon further investigation? Not at all.

Said Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy (at UC Santa Barbra) with Need to Know (PBS):


“May Day has ancient roots in the spring festivals of rebirth. It is a day from medieval England and other peasant societies. So for the working classes it’s seen as a moment of rebirth.”

See how it’s all connected?

It’s a time for celebration, it’s a time for work, it’s a time for renewal. For others, surely. For yourself, most definitely.

It’s time to celebrate who you are. It’s the perfect time to WORK on yourself. It’s time to renew and restart whatever you may not like about yourself, or feel dissatisfied with.

Don’t wait.

Don’t watch.

Don’t wonder.


Make it happen.

May Day is the time to start.


What are you waiting for?

Stop wondering if I’m talking to you!

Quit watching from the sidelines!

Get moving and make your dreams real.


–Syndee Barwick

Leave a Comment