Photo by Daniel K Cheung on Unsplash
By: Rebecca Liston
I saw the funniest meme today about the month of May:
“May – so-called because it may snow.
It may be hot as Hades.
Both may be true in one day.”
Yep, that’s May.
When my kiddos attended the Waldorf School, I witnessed the most marvelous thing: Children clamoring to do chores! What was this mystical vision before my eyes? What magic was afoot? And then I heard the kindergarten teacher’s words: “Sarah, you may sweep the floor. Timothy, you may wash the dishes. Alim, you may put away the rice.”
Hmmm. Suddenly the doing of a chore was magically transformed into some kind of gift that the children were chosen to be able to do! No one told them they had to do it – no sir! – they were given the privilege! And they were delighted by it! Hmmm, indeed.
Every year on May 4th, my messages blow up with the funniest images of folks wielding light sabers and police officers chasing droids in podracers. I am no Star Wars junkie, but I appreciate a good pun (and the sentiment.)
“May the fourth be with you!”
“And also with you, my friend.”
I start to ponder my own relationship with this word, may. How does it differ for me from “might?” Or “could?” Or “should?” Or even “must?”
Somehow “may” feels like an invitation.
“I may want to consider doing the dishes this afternoon.”
“It may be wise to look over the budget before making a decision.”
Is this part of the Waldorf Teacher Magic, too, then?
“I may sweep up this mess.”
Sure beats my usual response to mess: “FFS now I have to sweep up this &$#*@ mess.”
There’s more of a contemplative nature to the word. A more considered approach. A bit more wistfulness or meditativeness or mindfulness.
Somehow it implies choice.
“I may sweep up this mess. Or I may not.”
It speaks to me of possibilities and conscious choices. This may happen. That may happen. I may do this. I may do that. I may not do either.
Somehow it feels like no matter what, it’s all somehow “Okay.”
My body relaxes with this word. This invitation. This gift of choice.
It settles my mind. It allows me to breathe. I feel…somehow calmer.
What a gift is May.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God* hold you in the palm of His hand.”
*You may, of course, change “God” to “Goddess,” “Universe,” “Higher Power,” or whatever feels best in your heart.
Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.
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