Thursday, May 01, 2008

The First of May 2008

May Day greetings to all. Today is the international Worker's Day and a time to reflect on the Means of Production. Who owns/controls them? How did they come to that position? Who benefits from them? Most importantly, does organized society promote human freedom and opportunity? Think about that as you go about your business today.

May 1 is the National Day of Prayer in the US and may still be National Law Day. The latter was established as an alternative to "communist-inspired" May Day and no doubt Prayer Day is also a means to distract Americans from considering the relationship among society's classes and control of its resources. America's Labor Day is moved way down the calendar and is more of an End-of-Summer milestone than any reflection on the role of labor and capital.

But today is also a beautiful spring day in Olympia. The sun is shining. Some clouds are still in the sky but I can see lots of blue. The city is becoming greener by the day after a cold spring. The weather isn't exactly warm yet but the promise is there. The oak trees on my street are budding out with the first hints of leaves showing, Rhododendrons are blossoming everywhere. Tulips, daffodils and many other flowers are in bloom. Spring here feels like an opening up of life as we emerge from the dark winter, which I found not at all depressing. In my former location, spring is the occasion for heading underground to escape the the coming heat until, maybe mid October.

Thoughts of spring remind me of an evening spent at Eckville Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania in May 2005. I sat on a bench outside the shelter as countless bumblebees swarmed the area. Bees were constantly checking me out but not at all aggressive. They were far more interested in each other than me; once they figured out I wasn't a bee, they were gone. Occasionally, one would fly into me and simply bounce back into the air. No big deal. When I first went out to sit, I was a little unnerved by the swarm but the bees had definite business that did not involve me. As the evening progressed, bees would buzz about, somehow finding a partner and fly away as a tandem. Sitting on that bench, looking into Pennsylvania's green woods, life was beginning anew and I was so much a part of it.

I feel same connection here in Olympia. The small town environment seems to make spring all that more noticeable. No doubt the drastic change in my locale has a lot to do with the experience. Whatever the reason, I like it.

Maybe I'll go find some bees to hang with.

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