May Day came and was noticed, acknowledged, and fully celebrated in one of the most endearing gatherings I had attended in a while - where community met gentle whimsy with a few slabs of refreshing reality and Romanian reminisces that left me grinning, even as I walked back home in the night through the forest, fields, past pigs, gardens, and pond back to Tobbit's little parking-nook for the night.
Tobbit has a new home which means so do I. It's a wonderland, a refuge with pastures, gardens, goats, a pond, chickens everywhere, outhouses, workshops, homes, cabins, flowers, all within the shelter of the trees of the Pacific Northwest that define any home, it seems, for me.
We discussed how I could contribute in exchange for a corner of the land to park at and then the woman asked if I had plans for the evening. She invited me to join her and her sir to a May Day celebration.
I hopped in Tobbit and made it over to Hannah's for quick session of being together on the porch as she sewed and as I didn't sew. Then I skittered on back to the new home-turf. There, I was eagerly put to work gathering giant lilies from the green house and I was allowed to put lilacs in my hair. We picked broccoli sprouts, kale, parsley, and other greens from the garden and a fresh salad was created. With a few plates in a basket, the salad, some meat, wine, and the flowers, we set out through the woods.
Our destination was the adjoining piece of property that belonged to the woman's son, although currently another family is living there as they prepare to take over the family business (this all seems complicated, especially since I'm not using names yet).
We walked past the lilac tree and through the gate, by the pond which promised many swims this summer, then through some trees to where a drift of pigs grunted their greetings (or dismay at our presence). This took us by some gardens and fields and finally through one more bit of forest. We came to a clearing surrounding an old settler's cabin, covered in moss. The clearing was decorated with a fabric banner, lights, and the community was gathered around a fire not too far from the table that held the food that was starting to accumulate beautifully. There we go. That's where I'll use the word beautiful - to describe the food on a table. Potlucks are pretty things and probably one of my favourite things in life (along with small spoons, washcloths, and eating clover).
Behind the behind, behind the food, behind the fire was a giant pole with long vibrant ribbons attached at the top and hanging down, our May Day pole.
I started to get introduced to different neighbors - the collection of the folks were neighbors and most seemed to have grown up on the island. There was one duo of puppeteers and I got a kick out of hearing their stories. They lived in the same area of Romania that I was in a few times last year - a tiny little rural region that nabbed my heart (I'll keep going back there, I will - Sighet, Maramureș). There were folks within a decade of my age, a human two years my elder who lives in a school bus a short distance away. There were families with babies and young children and the generations that range about halfway above my parents.
The puppeteer-duo pulled out a euphonium and accordion and someone else grabbed his cajón to beat upon. A jubilatory jig (but not a jig) was played and we all grabbed onto a ribbon and started to weave. We had been counted off by twos and every other person went in the opposite direction. We attempted a tight weave of the pattern where you would go over the ribbon you first encountered and then under the next and over and under. I shared a ribbon with the woman I had come to the celebration with and soon we were joined by my temporary boss that I had only met a few times but had worked for twice that week.
The night got richer with conversation and the air got cooler and the fire appeared to grow warmer. I was totally blissed out - a bliss that filled up my toes so that I couldn't help but sing to myself as I walked home to snuggle up in my little Tobbit Truck.
Things are looking good for this Lopez life.