• Marilyn Gardner Woods

"The lusty month of May..."


A new year begins for me each May.

And the Matilija Poppies bloom.


My life began in May just about forever ago.


While many around me mope and complain about “May Gray,” I am merry as I meander mirthfully through its thirty-one days.


What’s not to like about the fifth month? It’s filled with emeralds and margaritas and Mandeville, the well-behaved twining vine. May’s full moon is the flower moon.





My May birthday marked the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, blissful summer, every year from kindergarten through my high school graduation ushering in those unforgettable months of nothingness.







Yep, that's me, the one in the middle back row, towering over all my playmates in Greenway Parks, Dallas.


In the magic month of May, I graduated from college.Maurice Pre

A poem warns “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day.” I did. It didn’t last. I didn’t rue. My later marriage in March was the right one.


I first became a mother in May, one day before my own birthday. A ten-pound baby boy, now my next-door son.


I first tasted Fettuccini Alfredo in Florence on my fortieth birthday. Also feasted on Michelangelo’s David.


I became a grandmother the first time in May, one day before my own grandmother’s birthday. I had to wait three weeks and travel west to Hong Kong to cradle her baby pink softness.


I became a docent at the art museum in May which launched my enduring appreciation of the world of art and the artists who create. I celebrated in Paris.


Vincent painted Irises in May 1889.




In 1903, Maurice Prendergast’s joyful watercolor, May Day Central Park, celebrated the enchanting month’s beginning.



This time last year in May, a book I wrote was published. This year in May, I submitted a first draft of a second book. I also planted strawberries.


Each May, frolicking children necklace around May Poles, revelers celebrate Cinco de Mayo, spirited horses run the Kentucky Derby, Memorial Day brings military remembrances, and we honor moms.


In Pauma Valley where I used to live, each year the May Babes garden-partied together in a flurry of flowers the colors of sherbet in birthday celebration.



In the Hill Country of Texas, the last of the bluebonnets lingers.


In Dallas, Crepe Myrtles commence their sweeping extravaganza.


On my street, the Jacarandas begin their purple haze.


So many reasons to make merry in May.

“That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray…”


If you happened to be in New York in the 1960’s, you might have heard the extraordinary Julie Andrews sing these words from Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrical tribute to the “lusty month of May” in Camelot, everybody’s dream musical.


How will you go “blissfully astray” this May?






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