Celebrating May and walking with Jacob

Columnist recalls the way she spent May 1 walking in the sunshine


We celebrated May 1 by having breakfast on the deck and feeling all happy and warm as brave rays of sunshine danced all over us and brightened up the faded baskets of little blue flowers painted on our dinner plates.

I found my husband out there, hiding; smoking and being all defiant the way people get after a long winter.

“I’m just going to sit out here,” he said, already dressed in shorts and his ‘Bahamas’ T-shirt.

“Okay,” I said agreeably. “I will just bring breakfast out.”

And so it came to be bacon and eggs and coffee became a celebratory meal of sorts, and we celebrated May Day and the fact the sun was warm on our faces and the grass was green and the leaves were green also with all visages of winter long gone.

Later, I wheeled my youngest grandson about in the stroller I have stored in the garden shed.

Pushing that stroller is like trying to push a grocery cart with really bad wheels on a gravel road, but with perseverance and stubbornness, both of which I believe myself to be quite well endowed with, I finally got the wheels to go in the right direction.

Down the road, through the playground, out the other side and back across the road to where the roadside ditches were dotted with yellow dandelions, we went.

Jacob clutched an orange juice box, sucking the straw with vigor, just happy the way two-year-olds are happy on a sunny afternoon when their tummies are full, their mom isn’t too far away and their grandma is at their beck and call.

As we strolled along, I showed him a dandelion, that marvelous weed that, aided and abetted by the older generation such as myself, totally passes itself off as a flower to unsuspecting children.

“Flower,” I said to the little boy, telling the innocent white lie to the child without even blinking at the telling of such an atrocity.


He sniffed appreciatively.

We walked on, passing people with little white dogs on leashes and people with children in strollers and people just walking without children or dogs.

We smiled at each other, for no other reason than because it was a warm day in May and, once again, Mother Nature had gone crazy with the colour green.

We arrived in front of a yard where the grass was a little too long to effectively pull off the well-groomed look and to make matters worse, its surface was abundantly sprinkled with a fresh crop of yellow dandelions.

Home. Home at last.

I eyed my lawn ruefully.

“I should mow that lawn,” I tell myself sternly. “It’s disgusting.”

But then the other voice, the voice of experience and the one that is all about things you can’t see, only feel in your heart, cut in.

Childhood is so fleeting, gone in less than a heartbeat. Your lawn will be here forever, grass is a perennial, it keeps coming back every year.

But, all too soon, little boys grow up and strollers, tucked away in the garden shed, grow rusty with age.

And so, spending a sunny afternoon pushing a stroller and sharing the wonder and beauty of the common dandelion with a small boy is a wise and wonderful thing to do.

And time well spent.

Very well spent!