May and the Promise of Spring Renewal:
May has always been a special month for me. On a personal level, I love the month because my birthday is in May; however, that fact is only one of many reasons why I love May. May brings spring in all its glory. In New Orleans, my hometown, we often do not have anything resembling a real spring. April brings frequent, often damaging rains to the area, but May traditionally brings sunny days, warm but not suffocating temps, and glorious flowers. My husband I have explored the gardens in our local parks and museums, reveling in the natural beauty of the season. Even April has been kind in its waning days and holds the promise of spring beauty.
May of 2021 offers renewal in ways beyond the hope of better weather. Many people have received the vaccine to protect them against COVID, the virus that changed all of our lives last year. In Louisiana, we lost many of our festivals and music events because of this deadly illness. Last May, a few venues opened to very limited seating and service. Of course, my husband and I still celebrated my birthday at our favorite restaurant, wearing our masks and maintaining our distance from others. This May promises much more for us. We have had our vaccines, and we have gained a special appreciation for the beauty of nature. Walking in the park, sitting on the limb of an old oak tree, and watching ducks in a pond have restored us when we felt overwhelmed by COVID sadness. Too many people we knew had sickened or died, but now, many of our friends have been vaccinated. We are socializing in a limited way and have even attended some music events.
Hopefully, the fall will bring even more progress as we return to “normal.” Maybe what we define as normal will remain forever changed; however, we have hope in a still uncertain future. Many festivals and events are scheduled to return. My husband and I are considering travel plans again. Of course, we will still take precautions. Normal is not what it once was.