maying – by Holly Brannigan

happy May Day 

Today we continue our series of seasonal reflections – which started with the poetic Wintering back in the dark of December.

Now we are Maying, and Holly continues for babaà her narration of her felt sense experience of the season, which we are so happy to share with you here. 

Stretching and yawning ourselves out of hibernation. As the earth around us awakens again, buds blooming, greens reminding us of life, so I re-emerge new. 

Pregnancy is a bulb working hard beneath the earth. Green forming and sprouting, a shoot becomes a stem and slowly a flower grows. Snowdrops and daffodils, the excitement after a hard winter. Spring is returning, new life. The light creeps in little by little and our faces lift to the sun, achy bones soften to the warmth. Soaking it all in. I was heavy and hungry, slow and achy. Winter ridden and inside me a baby stirred. 

I am birthed again as a mother, each time so different yet very familiar. Soft and hazy; golden. I forgot how glorious it is, indulgently basking in the feelings, which feel like the woozy honey light of spring, sent hanging on the walls through the gap in the curtains. It’s still cold outside, I’m still tired and sore from pregnancy, from winter, but so rich and heady as we lay in bed getting to know each other.  With this birthing I take on new roles and see an even more beautiful blooming in myself than last time. I’m growing, changing. But with it comes restrictions. I’m weary and less able to bounce back from a bad nights sleep. Spring celebrations must be gentle and stripped back. We didn’t dye eggs or grow baskets of wheat grass. We read stories in bed, and filled a jar with branches of pussy willow and hung from it the perfectly mottled quails eggs my mum saved us from her work. We didn’t make hot cross buns ourself but instead feasted on my fathers baked goods and thanked God for family (especially when they can bake treats). We sneak out for small excursions to the beach, never without a food-laden basket in the crook of my arm, as I’m forever famished. A baby is always at my breast or balancing on my hip. The older two are forced to become more independent, planting seeds alone in pots in the garden while I jiggle baby and sloppily spoon porridge into bowls. I don’t know what our summer garden will bear this year, from what has sprouted, it looks as though there will be dozens of radish’s, squished up next to one another!

On Thursday I remembered a doctors appointment last minute and as I heaved my winter body up the steep hill, two boys in my arms, we stop beneath the blue sky, and detour over to a heavy blossom tree. The wind is softly bouncing its curled branches, clouds of spring heavily clinging to the tips. I shake its bough and a showering of pink flakes fall about my golden haired prince. We laugh and I notice the sun’s honey has teased out freckles across his nose. 



Thank you Holly