I think I will declare a month of holidays, of holy days. May Day, Cinco de Mayo—already in place. But today I’m celebrating the Second of May, a little-observed day of meditation and feasting. (I’ll feast on barbequed shrimp salad; pork loin roasted with garlic and bay leaves and shallot—like the Lady of Shallot.) I celebrate the ascension of the flowers, the blessing of the wrens, the 122nd day of the Gregorian Calendar.
I’ll light some candles on this birthday of Italian architects and Dutch economists, of diplomats and water polo players, Empresses and Earls, the odd English historian and the inventor of the magic lantern.
I’ll mark with a moment of silence Anne Boleyn’s imprisonment, and the escape (not to last long) of Mary, Queen of Scots. The dear departed King James Bible, published today, the Second Day of May. The first ascent of Shishapangma, the fourteenth highest mountain in the world. The death of Leonardo da Vinci, he who painted those glorious angels with their wings aerodynamically correct.
Appropriate that today is the feast day of St. Athanasius of Alexandra, student of the Classics and perhaps the patron saint of those waiting for letters, who said (as I just did!) “Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day.”
images: flowers, The Beauty of Arts
Leonardo da Vinci, Angel