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May 1, 2000

A May Day Carol

Now the Springtide is at the full. Time for flowers and for courting. The whole world seems to turn to sex. Bees spreading pollen. Birds in breeding plumage. Blossoms loud as signals, sounding "Love me, love me, love me only. Me alone, for this moment, and forever."

The Carol has it clearly; the conventionalized pieties are but frames for mysteries more fleshly. The budding branch inserted like a key into the languor of the dream, summoning the eternal She into the Underworld (or dairy) deep, there to tap the Source of Cream.
Or, failing that, let's have a drink.
Such is Spring's philosophy.

I have said Spring has three faces:

Saint Patrick's for the Past Time;
Easter for the Future;
May Day for the Moment

The first two faces wear human features: our concern with Time that's absent. But this year's round of birth and death knows no other moment. Busy forgetting Winter, Spring cannot foresee the Future. Now is the time for Games of May, for dancing in a dizzy circle, 'round the May Pole, holding tight to a ribbon fastened somehow to some center which propels us through the circuit.

All this runs on Ecstasy.
A little ecstasy of dizziness,
a larger ecstasy of Love.
Life is the Ecstasy of Matter,
Spring is the Climax of the Year.

Ecstasy is a spark of the divine, that prompts us to do what we must. The ecstasy of taste drives us to eat; the ecstasy of love, to procreate. Time is obliterated in its face. For a moment we are bound in an embrace of satisfaction without surcease. Yet cease it does, it always does, here amid the Fallen World. The memory will not suffice; having done, we must do it once again.

To do again is to form a Tradition.
That is the pattern Ecstasy teaches.
Tradition sends us into the woods this day.
Our task is to return with a fragment of the Ecstasy that is Spring.
A Branch of May betokens Love. Here is mine to you.
Forget the Past, forget the Future.
Spend a Moment in the way you would wish to spend Forever.
For this Moment, we have May Day.

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