Monday, May 1, 2006

the lusty month of may

Today is May Day. It's the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, a celebration of fertility, the "lover's holiday." It's a day known for planting seeds, dancing around a May pole, lighting bonfires. Some people give baskets full of flowers to their loved ones. (See photo at right for example from some Victorian Web site!) One tradition is for girls to chase the boy they like with a basket full of flowers until they catch him. I know someone who did that. She and her husband both were coworkers of mine, and she used to bring the flower basket to work and chase him around the office.

So it's a good day for lovers everywhere — better than over-commercialized Valentine's Day, I say. And for Steve and me, it's the four-year anniversary of our engagement! The official proposal, that is.

Four years ago, May 1 fell on a Wednesday, and on Wednesdays, we had a standing date night. On this particular night, Steve rang the bell at my apartment as usual to pick me up, and when I opened the door, he was standing there with a bouquet of flowers. He got down on one knee and presented me with a ring, which he had fashioned out of a gold-plated twist-tie he'd gotten off a package of candy. He had (he told me later) spent most of the day making it. The diamond part was impressively large!

And he popped the question, of course. Although the question did not come from out of the blue, I was happily surprised that it was coming at this moment, and I was tickled by his creativity with the ring and his cute nervousness about getting the moment just right. So it was with a mixture of tears and laughter that I hugged and kissed him and said yes. Yes!

And then we took a few of those pictures where we hold the camera out at arms length and hope we're both in the frame. (They're so cute — I'll post one tomorrow if I can remember.) Afterward, we went out to dinner at The Vintage, on Selby Avenue, to celebrate. I wore my makeshift ring all night, and I still keep it in a treasured place in my jewelry box. (Steve ordered the ring I wear now, which I also love, from, and it arrived via Fed Ex a few days later.)

We celebrated today over lunch at an Asian restaurant near his office. (He has class tonight — his second-to-last before he finishes school and gets his MBA! I'm so proud.) And I can say, for the first time in almost three years of marriage, that this May Day has also been a happy day for celebrating fertility. I could not feel more blessed by this pregnancy, this event we worked so hard to make happen.

Happy May Day, everyone! Don't forget to kiss your lover, child, best friend, cat or whomever gives you love in your life!

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

Oh Emilie....What a wonderful story and a wonderful holiday.
Happy May Day to you and Steve.