‘But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother,
I’m to be Queen o’ the May.’
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
When I was a little girl we would make crowns from the clover flowers, picking them and braiding them together. My aunts taught me to do this and I wonder now how old traditions from Beltane celebrations carried through the years leaving us with the flower wreath of spring, without the celebrations that were once a part of it. My flower crown from last year hangs on a hook in the next room. It is a reminder of pleasant times of last Beltane as well as friendships that have gone their own way. In all honesty I’m not the flower wreath type but somehow Beltane evokes such images, the village maid with her wreath of flowers adorning her simple garb, or perhaps the Queen o’ the May, draped in beauty and crowned with the most beautiful of flowers. Should I have a new gown to wear on May Day, perhaps I will adorn my hair with flowers, real ones this time, though store purchased. The wild violets are not yet in bloom, nor the pink flowers that line the path of my “fairy land.”
No, I think a new gown is not in the cards for now and the flower wreath with my traditional garb just wont do. I will however be wandering down my secret path, where the trees form secret hideaways and the cattails form a wall around the gateway of the open meadow. There I wait to find those things that call me whenever I go past. Perhaps they wait for Beltane to step onto the path and greet me.