yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Month of "Yes You May"

It's May! And as they sing in "Camelot:" "It's May, It's May, the lusty month of May..." After a very long cold winter, I find I'm turning my thoughts to the magic of spring. The renewal, the miracle that flowers and other plants somehow survive the frigid temperatures and harsh winds of winter to pop up into the sunlight in glorious colors with the most exquisite petals and leaves. Robins and mockingbirds and all sorts of wildlife are reappearing. Wonderful!

We humans have survived, too, and like the flora and fauna around us, are celebrating. Here is a link to the film version of "The Lusty Month of May," from "Camelot" with Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevere. The rituals of the Arthurian legend period, the ninth century, correspond to the cycles of nature, and speak to me in the here and now as they are a natural way for us to express what is happening around us. The sun is warm and the air is sweet! "Spring fever" swells our hearts and brings the excitement of new possibilities!

(I apologize that this blog doesn't allow me to make web addresses like this as a "hot" link, so copy and paste into your browser and you'll enjoy the lyrics and facial expressions).

In Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" with Kenneth Brannaugh and Emma Thompson, they sing a very exuberant "Hey Nonny Nonny" at the conclusion, an impossibly happy, festive, joyously tear-inducing spectacle devoted to happiness and love and the lust for life during this time of the year. To me, the meaning ultimately is when we feel woe, that is the time to sing "Hey Nonny Nonny" to cheer ourselves up. To take life lightly. To those who know me well, this is a real challenge for me. I am a perfectionist, a cynic, hyper-aware of human frailties and negative aspects, and it's difficult for me to be happy much of the time. So, I am trying to lighten up. This a great time of the year to practice.

The choral work "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff is music for hundreds of voices (men, women and children) written in 1936 and taken from medieval texts in Latin full of the love of life. One chorus sings:

Behold, the pleasant and longed for spring
brings back joyfulness
violet flowers fill the meadows,
the sun brightens everything,
sadness is now at an end!
Summer returns, now withdraw
the rigours of winter. Ah!

Now melts and disappears
ice, snow and the rest,
winter flees, and now
spring sucks at summer's breast.
A wretched soul is he
who does not live
or lust
under summer's rule. Ah!

Bill Moyer's last journal program on PBS (tonight) featured a guest who shared his observation that people today are reserved about expressing joy and passion with each other because they find it difficult to trust the world. It's hard to be intimate with others when we are cautious. I'm talking even about the most simplistic communication, that it's a beautiful day for instance. If the sun makes you want to throw your arms up into the air with your eyes closed, in sheer reverence, I say, do it! If we find success in connecting with others in joyous abandon, that is terrific! Flop down in the grass and watch the clouds float by. Breathe and be grateful to be alive. We only live once. I for one will keep hoping that the happiness I feel at this time of the year — the excitement about new beginnings and possibilities, this state of grace — will catch on like wildfire and have us all dancing around the maypole, saying "YES!", feeling free to frolic as we imagine and experience paradise on the earth now in our lifetimes.

Come dance with me! Let's sing together! Let's trust that it's safe to express joy. I can't do this alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment