The first day of May always reminds me of my mother and May Day flower baskets.

When my sister and I were little, Mother helped us make tiny baskets with handles out of paper cups on May Day. Then we filled the baskets with whatever flowers we could find — from neighborhood gardens, along sidewalks, and “wildflowers” from the vacant lot and alley. Then we’d sneak up onto the front porches of the neighbors’ houses, ring the doorbell, then dash behind a bush to hide. The lady of the house would find the basket of flowers on her door and exclaim how lovely and “I wonder who gave me these beautiful flowers?! That was sooo nice of them.”

We’d tingle with delight, sure that she had no idea who left them. Actually she had probably been watching through her window as we picked a few of her flowers to add to the bouquet. But she went along with the “magic” and really made this rite of spring special for us.

Thank you, Mother, for teaching me the joy of such simple things like surprising the neighbors with a few spring flowers on May Day.