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Bringing in the May

It was our New England childhood ritual, going to the woods to bring back May with lilies-of-the-valley, mayflowers, mountain laurel and jack-in-the-pulpit we would list on the blackboard with the first sighted birds. On the first of May we brought flowers, waited for the afternoon when the magic tree, the maypole would be planted in the schoolyard to music from a portable machine while we would weave strands of colored ribbons clockwise, counterclockwise bringing in the spring.

Then home, with tiny baskets of flowers to hang on our Armenian grandmother's door. We would not wait to see her, afraid the other children might hear her thanking heaven a hundred times for our bringing in the May.

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