The First Day of May always takes me back to my childhood in Eutin, a 750 year old town in Northern Germany. May First marks the first day of summer and the farming community holds raucous celebrations to usher in the planting season. A colorfully adorned Maypole invites dancing led by the Queen of May wearing a white gown and a crown of flowers. Later boys compete by climbing the pole’s daunting height. The reward are gifts attached to a spoked wreath at its tip. Adults relish Musik, Bratwurst, und Bier and socialize as a community.
The “Erster Mai, Quartier Frei” slogan is on everyone's lips. It basically means that on the First of May it’s warm enough to live outdoors. In my heart and mind, memories of walking through colonnades of old-growth European Beech forests adorned with the delicate greens of early Spring foliage resurrect vividly on May First. Happy First of May!
On the Llano Estacado our ubiquitous prairie royalty, the Plains Yucca, regale cowboys and casual trekkers with their elegance. These shortgrass prairie May poles cause as much celebration as their more formal cousins in distant European lands.