It’s Not The Same As It Was

The first of May has arrived. As per usual on this particularly numbered day every year, I am reminded of what once was. If you are *at least* an 80s or 90s baby you will likely know what I mean.

The first of May, “back in my day”, was when we would give or receive May Day baskets on our porches. Some years we would even make these baskets in school to deliver to whomever we wanted to. It usually involved decorating a styrofoam cup, or making a paper cone, and filling it with that annoying easter grass and candies, maybe a flower or pinwheel, and a DIY handle made of construction paper, pipe cleaner, or ribbon.

If you were giving a May basket to someone, it was customary to deliver it to their house and leave it on the front porch. The exciting part about it was doing it ‘ding dong ditch’ style trying to get away without being caught. If you were lucky enough to find a decent hiding spot, you might of even waited to see who found the basket (or cup) and watch their smile grow as they looked around for the perpetrator.

Before we moved out of what I would consider my childhood home, we always had a neighbor that left us a May basket. The only time I was ever on the giving end was if we made them in school that year.

The idea behind the May basket started long before my time. I read somewhere that it even happened in the 1800s. May baskets were used ‘to commemorate the turn of chilly and rainy months into warmer and happier ones‘. Traditionally it started with a little basket of flowers hanging on a person’s front door. Something I read said people who had a romantic interest would often use May baskets as a way to play secret admirer.

There is no doubt that the world has changed since ‘back in my day’. It makes it difficult to even feel safe doing something nice for people. You just never know what is on the other side of someone’s front door. I think of Ralph Yarl and Kaylin Gillis. If you don’t know their stories, I encourage you to look them up.

I find it incredibly sad for our society. Sad isn’t even a strong enough word to describe it. Before I had kids, this wasn’t even something I thought of happening to society. I didn’t think society was going to seemingly change into what it feels like it is now. Now that I have kids, I often think I was incredibly selfish in wanting them and now they are forced to live in a society like this one. They won’t know it any other way than what they were born into, but I will know. I will remember all of the “back in my day” safe feelings we had of simply being able to bring a well meaninged May basket to a neighbor or friend.

We just can’t do these things anymore without worry. Instead of only worrying about my own safety, I have to worry about my 3 children and their safety, their future. I miss the feeling of being safe. It just isn’t the same society anymore.

💐 jenn


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