May Day Announcement

Merry May Day!

May has always been my favourite month of the year. There is that point in the month when the sun is shining and the skies are clear, and for the first time, you notice the green tree canopies meeting the blue sky. It’s so lovely, it makes me want to sing. And there are lots of lovely songs about the month. My choir sings Now is the month of Maying, when merry lads are playing! It’s a madrigal by Thomas Morley, and the words capture the spirit of the season – The spring clad all in gladness, doth laugh at winter’s sadness.

It also sums up the harsh reality. Spring is so joyful because winter was so sad. It’s easy to forget how hard life must have been in the winter for families without electricity, fridges, central heating, etc. Even food was scarce in the winter before modern preservation methods and transportation made it possible to have an abundant supply through out the year. For those that made it through the winter, there was the relief of having survived as well as the celebration for the return of better times. You can see why May festivals were created. I live in a rural area of middle England, and some of those festivals and traditions still exist today. My husband is a Morris dancer, and his side were up at dawn, dancing to the rising sun. In the next village along from where we live, there is a Maypole and later the local school children will be dancing around it.

I find these rituals based around the seasons fascinating. They say more about the human psyche than they do about the weather. It is perfectly understandable why humans needed to create a festival of light in the middle of winter, or a celebration at the end of the harvest before the leaner months set in. A big party to celebrate May Day, a double celebration of thanksgiving and future planning, along with the rituals of courtship and fertility that went alongside it, would have been so important to country people in bygone days that lives could be shaped by it. That idea fascinated me so much that I turned it into a novel – my soon-to-be-released novel, to be precise. The action revolves around a May Day Ball in a small village; the anticipation and preparation before the event, the magic of the dancing and the music on the night, and the fall-out and consequences in the aftermath. I’m in the final stages of proof-reading and revision; hopefully, it will be ready for publication by the end of this month. But as today is May Day, a day of such significance within the novel, I thought I would give you a sneak peak of the cover. So here it is – The Hawthorn Bride, coming very soon!

Published by mjschofieldauthor

Writer, story teller, author, novelist, wordsmith - the only thing I cannot imagine is not writing.

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