First of May – Excitement and Anticipation

The first day in May reminds me of beautiful and exciting things. There’s the custom  that if you put a posy of wild flowers under your pillow you’ll dream of your true love. On Mayday morning if you bathe your face in the morning dew, your skin will look more youthful and you’ll find your true love, if you don’t already have one.

It reminds me of living in Stockholm taking part in the Första Maj political parades as a somewhat leftie student and equal opportunities advocate. On Arran, I’ve been told by experienced gardners that you can safely plant things after Mayday which would otherwise perish earlier. “Ne’er cast a clout till May is oot” is a word of advice which means you should wear every conceivable layer of clothing until the end of April to keep out the chill. Very sound advice for the weather we’ve had in the past few days where the mountains are dusted with snow again and one of my poor wee tomato plants died of the chill wind the other night – I obviously forgot to heed the experienced gardeners.

Speaking of gardeners, through a friend I’ve discovered a new plant for my collection kerria japonica. I fell in love with it’s golden yellow flowers in an arrangement in the church hall the other week and the person who did the arrangement brought me a root cutting (not sure that’s the technical term, but you get the idea.) Now I have one among my shrubs.

My most exciting memory of the 1st of May is 40 something years ago, when I was waiting for the imminent arrival of my first child. She was due on the 3rd and characteristically arrived on the 3rd, but the days before for me were as they are for every soon to be mother for the first time. Fear and anticipation in equal amounts.

For me the 1st of May was the beginning of an adventure which is still exciting and rewarding as my life, my children’s lives and my grandchildren’s lives interweave and bring all of us a sense of connection and of being cherished.

kerria japonica kerria-japonica-flowers-in-full-bloom-192609932

Feelings Can Be Treacherous

Butterflies Miracles

 I respond to situations sometimes with feeling and realise that my feelings have nothing to do with the situation in hand. I’m responding to the current drama with feelings which are still inside me from previous emotional experiences, sometimes so deeply buried that I don’t recognise them when they pop up again.

Then I realise that I’m inappropriately angry, jealous, hurt or confused, etc. I’m learning to stand back when these feelings crop up and I’m certainly learning not to take  action in any circumstances based on what my immediate feelings are.

This is something that has become clearer as I recuperate from my liver disease and transplant operation. I need to just breathe in and out quite a few times before I speak or act and when I do this I can feel peace coming over me and a recognition that I am stronger now and these are OLD issues I’m reliving and I can actually let them go – off into the universe in the proverbial pink bubble.

Thinking of these things, I made a list of things (yes, a list) in my life that I really want to let go. Having put it all down on paper, it has been easier not to dwell on old “stuff” and to concentrate on living each moment, being mindful of each moment and dealing with one day at a time.

I’m not saying I’ll never again have inappropriate feelings that are most harmful to me, rather than anyone else.  I’m learning to accept them as part of living and being me.

Acknowledging that I’m a lifelong alcoholic in recovery is one very important gift I’ve had along with my new liver. I made a promise to myself that I would honour my anonymous donor family by staying sober and not using alcohol to smother feelings as I’ve done most of my life. I can’t do this alone so I’ve been going to AA meetings and finding the support I need to keep this resolve.

So far, one day at a time, it’s working. I look forward to increased understanding of who I am and where I’m coming from. That’s a very good reason for being alive.

As my health and strength return, I am increasingly  grateful to friends and family who’ve kept me going through the difficult days of illness and to the doctors and other hospital staff who’ve made my life disease-free and given me new hope.

Now I can only hope that my healing progresses faster than my aging, but that’s not really in my hands.

 

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