May 1st, often called May Day, has a long and notable history as one of the world's principal festivals. It's a celebration of Spring. It's a pagan festival, a saint's feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it's a national holiday.
In Nashville, May Day is now remembered by most Nashvillians as the anniversary of the 2010 Flood. A day when many lives were changed, and the blessings of help and love were bestowed by friends and strangers alike upon those affected by the flooding. The people of Nashville rose as rapidly as the flood waters to help in every way imaginable. As a city, we were a shining example of how folks really pull together when called upon by tragedy.
Last year, I felt somewhat guilty that our enormous basement only suffered three inches of water. With the help of a couple of friends we got everything out, and within four days, had the basement dry and re-organized (although one year later we still have piles of junk in our covered carport). I felt guilty receiving help, when our flooding was so minimal. I felt guilty that I didn't help others as much as I could have or thought I should have. Steve and I did attend some flood benefits, but I felt that I was copping out, that attending a benefit was the lazy person's way to help.
Now, this year, on May 1st, as I am 8 weeks into my broken femur recovery, I can't help thinking about all of the friends and acquaintances, and even strangers, who came to my aid after my surgery. Emotionally, spiritually, and physically, I was supported by greeting cards, phone calls, e-mails, delivered meals, car rides, and so much more. I didn't once judge the level of someone's help. I only saw that I got more help than I ever could have imagined.
I can't go back and re-do last year and help with the flood recovery. But I can and will remember that every gesture of help, no matter how seemingly small, makes a huge difference to someone in need. And, as a result of all the love I've received, I will remember to pay it forward.
Happy May Day!