Years ago May Day baskets were a tradition in many parts of the country. These were baskets of flowers delivered on front doorsteps or hung on doorknobs of family, friends, or neighbors, always with an element of surprise. The idea was to get the flowers in place, knock or ring the doorbell, and run away so that the recipient would never know who left them this beautiful gift of blooms.
When I was a classroom teacher, my students learned about May Baskets and made some of their own. Sometimes flowers were brought in from early gardens, and other times the students made colorful paper blooms. They would make baskets, too, and then would deliver them – in secret of course – to the teachers and staff in the school.
Included was a card that said, “Happy May Day.” The card also contained a poem that was actually the words from a song in the movie Babe:
If I had words to make a day for you,
I’d sing you a morning golden and true
I would make this day last for all time
Then fill the night deep with moonshine
You don’t see this tradition carried out much anymore. I suspect that if most people received a May Basket today, they would not know what it was all about.
Maybe this idea could be revived – and maybe it could start with you and me.