May is...

May is an allium flower bulb cupped in my hands. It is a month of vibrant greens and blossoms carpeting paths and pavements. A time when the cluster of houses on the hill across the pond is hidden by the green expanse of trees.

Elm tree seed pods twirl down like cherry blossoms in the wind. Their shapes resemble miniature avocado slices or pears. Sometimes I find them inside my notebook, in my hair and on my clothes when I come home.

A hawk and a blackbird circle each other while I stand at a red light. The hawk's beige feathered belly stands out against the clear blue sky. The hawk goes round and round, concentrating on the rooftop of an apartment building, and the blackbird follows like a dog nipping its tail.  

Sitting on the ground at the pond, I lifted my eyes from the page to watch as a plump bumble bee buzzes low to the ground, brushing past tiny twigs and dry leaves. She rises higher and flutters hypnotically, disturbed by the noise of a circular saw whirring across the water.

May is the month of home improvements.

May is when the creeping phlox drape the stone barriers and flower pots outside shops. Walking down the street, I saw a petite old woman walking the opposite direction lean down to brush the palm of her hand against the waterfall of these violet flowers. Seeing the gesture lightened my step.

There was an evening when a thick mass of bluish purplish clouds veiled the sky and everything looked still, even the voluminous green leaves on the tree outside the window was motionless. Everything was enveloped in a warm glow contrasting the darkness, like an artificial light in a dream.

May is the sweet taste of black raspberry ice cream in a sugar cone. 

In late May, there is an eerie kind of silence before the rain comes - a smell of wet earth mixed with concrete, nature's foreshadowing. It feels like holding my breath in a large empty space, alone. 

It is raining now and I keep tugging at my sleeves to warm my hands. The upstairs neighbor has come home and has filled the room with the thumping of bare footed footsteps and the occasional thud of objects falling to the floor directly above my head. Despite the seeming annoyance of these sounds, they have become as comforting as the sound of the sizzle and crackle of a meal on a hot skillet. 

As I write, my husband is committing a sacrilege of drawing on the walls where he will place ceramic tiles. The other day I was slicing peppers on the cutting board with the soundtrack from Strangers Things playing on the speaker, while he was shimming a drawer on the wall beside me. The kitchen was alive with music and the repeated motions of individual actions, our limbs swinging to their own rhythms. It was such a lively moment and while we were concentrating on separate tasks I felt a shared happiness. 

This May we went away to the coast for our first mini-vacation in a while. We stretched out on matching striped towels at a beach inhabited only by seagulls and us. I dragged my feet in the sand when we had to leave. It grew cold, the sun was setting, it was time to go to another context. I had wished time would pause for a moment longer in the one we were in.

The rain has drenched everything. The daffodils and tulips stand devoid of flowers. Rhododendron, pink, purple and red, are the most colorful now. Walking home we spotted a wet rabbit sitting on a patch of brown mulch, nearly blending in. He looked back in profile, chewing, stopping, chewing again. May is when the rabbits come out earlier in the day, exploring better options, but our resident bunny prefers his lawn even if someone had the audacity to throw mulch over it.


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