We are in a hurry. For us. Doctor appointment in a couple of hours. On days like this, I have trouble getting dressed. I try to put on a tee-shirt and I can only find one sleeve. The other seems to be missing. I can see it. It’s there. But for some reason, my left arm absolutely won’t find it and when finally, my shirt is ON my body, the shirt feels funny. Because it’s backwards.

The pants were new. Rather than trying to find a pair in my chest of drawers — so over-packed with stuff for every seasonย  (because I can’t climb up to the attic anymore), I went for the new ones. I could find them AND I knew they probably were not covered with dog hair.

Everything else is covered with Duke’s fur. The Scotties don’t shed much. They stink (they need grooming, but I need $100 or is it $110?) to get it done, but at least they don’t shed. Much. Duke’s long white hair, on the other hand, has a positive sticking power that’s right in there with tape.

Tape. That’s the stuff that sticks to every except the package you are trying to attach it to. It writhes around your fingers. When you give it a tug, it splits four ways to Sunday and there you are, trying with your stubby little fingernails to get it even so you can use it.

It wouldn’t be that hard except when Duke was just a little younger, he gave it a few hefty chomps. Thanks, Duke! You’re our guy.

Finally, I could only find one shoe.

I am certain I went into the bedroom wearing both. I can’t imagine I limped down the hallway a clog on one foot, the other in a sock . Since I’d found one shoe, surely the other was nearby. But time was short.

Wildflowers in an empty field in upstate New York

Eventually, I put on an old pair of L.L.Bean shoes I bought in Freeport, Maine maybe 15 years ago. They still fit find and look pretty good — if you don’t look too closely. Somehow, Tinker missed finishing them off in her years of determined effort to chew every shoe I owned.

I’m dressed. Black yoga pants. Serendipity tee-shit. Black sweatshirt. Half socks — it’s going to be warm. And I have coffee. Meanwhile, WordPress would like to know how they did “fixing” my computer. I told them. “Pathetic, useless. Out of touch with your customers. I did it myself but you are taking credit when in fact, you actually did NOTHING.”

I wanted to wear sandals, but this is the first warm day this year. I need a week of warmth to feel ready for sandals. I don’t want my feet to be disappointed if I have to return to real shoes.

My day has begun.

Today is Beltane. I remember, back in elementary school, for the first four years we celebrated Beltane with a little festival and a genuine (built ourselves) Maypole. The girls danced, but only the sixth graders. I was too little and too young.

By the time I was old enough to participate, the school had transitioned into some meaningless modern event — and no Maypole. No more Beltane. I have yet to do my Maypole dance. Probably not this lifetime.

Happy Beltane to you all! May your day be filled with joy and sunlight and flowers and hopes for a brighter summer and warm, flowery days to come.

29 thoughts on “SLEEVES, SHOES, AND BELTANE – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. We had May Poles and dances in elementary school. It was so lovely – the oldest grade did the actual Maypole dance – in church dresses – we were so envious as they got to wear party shoes and it was almost a 6th grade graduation ceremony and introduction into the almost grown world of Jr. high next year. The rest of the grades each performed a dance in honor of the 6th graders before they took to the concrete slab with great dignity.
    It was quite a day and parents loved it, too.
    Sad some of the old traditions have been dropped because it was a bother ( and pretty hot here)
    Enjoyed the post


    • I think they dropped it here because it was too much work building the pole … and not every girl got selected and there was a lot of competition … and for all I know, the Christian mommies decided it was too pagan or something like that. All I know is when I got into 5th grade, it was gone. No explanation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our elementary school has multiple poles – nobody was left out – or allowed to sit out.
        The grade level dances were in costume – one year my older brother refused to wear the kilt – and no amount of talking with him or reminding him we had ancestors from Scotland would change his mind…he was the only kid out there in that grade level in navy pants.


        • It got to be quite a competition amongst the sixth grade girls. The classes were quite large. I think originally, it was a big enough pole for everyone, but eventually, only about half the size they needed, and perhaps, that was why is ended. I really don’t know. No one ever told us.


  2. I never knew the actual NAME of May 1st, just that there used to be dancing around a tall pole, colored streamer in one’s hand, and that (apparently) English villages still do that sort of thing for tourists. My mother, born in May, was an afficiando of all things like that, and would bake a cake or a treat, and I had to dress up in my Sunday best dress. The old traditions are dying off and to me that’s a big loss. Thanks for the share (beautiful photography as usual) and the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is one of the great Earth festivals. Samhain (October 31st) which (I think) is also the beginning of the year and has become our Halloween. Imbolc (more commonly, Yule) around Christmas time and from which much of Christmas derives, Beltane (Beltain) around May 1st. Lughnasadh (Lammas) or Harvest — August 1 (or thereabouts) — the first cutting of the fields with Samhain the second (both are about halfway between the equinoxes). In Israel (different climate), Omer precedes Passover and is the first cutting of the fields. Everyone dresses sort of peasant-style and goes out to collect wildflowers (because they are going to be cut down anyway for the planting). They still celebrate Omer on the Kibbutzim. There are more, of course, I don’t don’t remember all of them, but these are the bigger ones that I have some memory of.

      Jewish and Christian festivals often coincide with these older festivals because religions build on older religions. Christmas is when it is because that’s when the Midwinter festival occurred and since everyone was feeling celebratory, it was a good time to add on one more celebration.

      Festivals tend to be related to the climate and weather of the region where they were celebrated. The Omer is the first cutting of the wheat in Israel, but it’s a warm climate and there actually IS early wheat to cut. You wouldn’t do that in any northern country because nothing would be growing yet. Almost everywhere, there’s some kind of festival in May by various names … in a few places, a series of festivals. Also, there’s a midsummer festival most places, the name of which is temporarily escaping me, but it has become Pentacost for Christians and is Shavuot (Weeks) in the Jewish calendar. It’s a major festival for Jews and for some reason, everyone eats cheesecake.


  3. I live with “cat hair” in everything, on everything, under everything. Porsche is a Chantilly which means he has 3 sets of hair, short, medium and LONG. We have hardwood floors, so it floats. Then we add Abby, who moved in 2 years ago, and she’s shedding too, so she’s taken to sitting in front of me while I’m at the computer so my desk is now covered in her hair (even though I sweep swipe wipe wash dust) daily. Her hair is short but she loses more than Porsche. Add Sugar (a Siamese mix with whatever) sleek, elegant but shedding!!! and now my son’s bed is covered with a blanket – not any blanket, as all three now sleep in his room, or mine, and he has a blanket of fur, endless fur top to bottom and his quilt is washed repeatedly to no avail. When you get a cup from the cupboard, you wash it out before pouring coffee into it, as it will inadvertently have hair in it, somehow even though it’s been washed and closeted away. Yep, hair, constantly endlessly, but that’s part of loving and having pets. Porsche is much better now. I’ll post a pic when I can figure out how to transfer it over here. He’s his happy self again, surgery done, meds done (amid scratches and claw marks but done) and he’s perky as ever. Hope goes well with the appointment! Love to know how you fixed the problem on your computer as my sight has a problem I can’t fix and even my son is dumbfounded. It is as if a # has been added we didn’t add and it has screwed up the wholel thing. Not sure where or how it arrived, but it’s there. Top left corner! We can’t find a way to get rid of it without re-doing the site which is a huge undertaking. My son explained what’s required. OMG, I knew he did a lot to make my site work, but WOW, just WOW! It’s not just the site, it’s all the back end stuff, and the plugins and settings and security and and and It takes him about 3 – 5 days to re-write my sight as I have a .com and he has to start there, do everything to protect and make it work, then add wp, re-do all the above, then add the links and security for that part, then meld it all together. We’ve been leaving it hoping wp would fix their end, alas that hasn’t happened, so when he has the energy, he’ll have to spend said amount of time re-doing everything! I haven’t the heart to ask him as he’s exhausted at the moment.


  4. Never heard of Beltane, but of Mayday, perhaps it is something similar. If a girl in a village becomes of age the boys in the village erect a may pole on the village square with photos of the girls and their names, it is Swiss tradition, although in our village there are none, we are now all golden oldies. Dogs are a problem with shedding hair. Tabby our cat does not even miss a hair if she loses one.


  5. Tell me about dog hair. I carefully kept the new summer clothes I bought for holidays separate from my others but they still managed to pick up a few of Cindy’s cream coloured hairs. As for black which I wear a lot I’m constantly brushing myself down but people still say to me “You have a white dog, don’t you?” Do they really need to mention it? I know.


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