Tomorrow, May 1st, is May Day. I am not sure if young ones today are familiar with the Maybasket tradition. I learned of it when I was 6 years old.
I was in Mrs. Bell’s 1st grade class at William Carr School. I brought home a Maybasket. My mother told me we must leave it on the neighbor’s door, ring the doorbell and run and hide. We had to hide really good, because if our neighbor, Grace found me, she had to hug me and give me a kiss.
Well, I left that Maybasket that year, and each year after that. When I was gone away, my mom made sure someone else (usually my sister) left that Maybasket.
As Grace grew older, so did I. Eventually, I had kids of my own and could not run as fast as I used to. So, my kids dropped my Maybasket off and did the running and hiding.
The years went by and Grace moved, and I would find her and leave a basket on her car. When she ended up in the nursing home, I would have it delivered to her room. At one point, we had a conversation and she said “I can’t believe the Maybasket Fairy found me here at this nursing home.” All her friends knew of her Maybaskets, and at one point, she had collected and saved several of the baskets. She once told me “If you see that Maybasket Fairy, could you give her a kiss from me?”
There was a point in her life where Grace no longer was able to speak or indicate that she knew me….but I still took that Maybasket every year. Last year was my last chance to make my delivery as she passed away. She had to be fed by someone, and could barely keep her eyes open. She was a mere shell of the firey redhead that used to live next door to me as a child….but when she saw that Maybasket, I could see a little twinkle still in her eyes. She may have forgotten me, but she always remembered her Maybasket.
So, this year, if you haven’t done so, start a tradition. Be a Maybasket Fairy to someone. It will brighten and enrich both your lives, and even though it sounds quite simple, it brings great joy.
Happy May Day up in Heaven Grace…..I hope you get a lot of Maybaskets up there.