Girl Painting

May Days

In my mind, May is hues of soft pastels, tulips in the front garden, a floral patterned dress as I sit on a patio in the glow of early evening sun.  There’s a promise in the air; laughter rings.  Yes, I’d love another gin and tonic, thank you.

May mornings walking to the bus stop, on sidewalks scattered with the last remaining pink petals of cherry blossoms.  May evenings opening my window and keeping it open all night, listening to the bark of a dog, the passing of a train as I fall asleep.  Is it summer yet?  Is it hot enough to wear shorts, to jump in the lake?  

May activities: time to shave my legs, to paint my nails Cinderella blue, to wonder if I’m too old to wear ribbons in my hair. 

In May sunshine, memories of sitting in Omi’s garden, of dipping strawberries in sugar, and drinking tea out of Old Country Roses tea cups.  

Going back further still, May – when the first seeds of summer were planted in my mind, when I’d sit in class daydreaming about licking ice cream cones at the beach, driving to San Francisco, reading in our blown-up pool. 

I think of tiny sprouts suddenly lush and thriving.  I think of a quiet morning of scones and Jane Austen, of savouring my last month of being whatever age I am, simultaneously wishing I could stop time and make it move faster. 

Unexpected rain and unexpected thoughts: should I get bangs again?  Should I move to Paris?  Will this be the summer I fall in love?  

I remember one particular May, riding my bike from Rueil Malmaison to the Eiffel tower: a moment that even an allergy attack couldn’t dare ruin.  Cries of bonjour, the taste of macarons, a sip of champagne in the Latin Quarter. 

May hope, endearing like the sound of piano keys drifting out from someone’s open window.  May promise, earnest like the purring of a lawnmower in someone else’s backyard.  May energy – youthful, alive, and joyous – like the return of children playing on the sidewalk.  May dreams, taking shape and form, fluttering through my head like the flies that somehow make their way into my room from leaving the front door open all day.  And May heart, at last, brimming with the chorus of fa-la-las from old choir songs, and the soft pages of books, and the fragile sunbeams of dusk. 

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