Everyone has a favorite time of year.  Mine has just ended, and lovely though the months ahead will be, I'm a bit triste at the parting, always too fast, too soon.   Spring is hard won in eastern Maine, but once arrived, it is sweet and delicate.  Suddenly in mid-May, we burst into bloom, and Dilettantes, usually jaded, forget the cares of the world and burst into song.   Against a backdrop of fresh greens come the blossoms---tulips, apple trees, cherries, and above all, lilacs, making old New England villages young again.  At Memorial day comes a parade and bittersweet remembrance.  The lilacs fade, and as quickly are replaced by fields of lupine, making the whole world seem an impressionist landscape.  The air is sweet, and in the ever longer evenings, those fields are alight with fireflies, blurring the horizon between starry sky and meadow. 
A wild apple tree at the edge of my meadow lights up against a passing storm in May

This year, our little village celebrates its 250th anniversary, and floats in the Memorial Day parade marked local pride at the birthday.   That same week, on Friday, the elementary school children held another parade, a happy ode to Spring.  We're a musical town, somewhat famously so, and even the hardest hearted among us on the street that 1st day of June could fail to be delighted as the school band,  a jazz band, and then two steel drum bands marched up Maine Street.  As they reached the stately old Town Hall, they stopped and sang 'Happy Birthday' to the town.

I may sometimes crave other places, other climes, more sophisticated pleasures, but in those sweet, fleeting weeks leading up to summer, there is no other way I want the world to be.

For Memorial Days past, click HERE and HERE

And thanks to Paul for Memorial Day photos, and Laurie for the School Parade


The Devoted Classicist said...

Few things are more delightful than children in a parade.

Dovecote Decor said...

I lived in a small mill town in Virginia for 12 years. It was not all that charming--it was red-neck. No food, no movies, and barely tennis all conspired to create a PTSD reaction. Your town must be special!

The Ancient said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Ancient said...

Memo to Self: Life is short, plant more lilacs.

I remember those Memorial Day parades from sixty years ago. Back then, there were ranks of soldiers, some of them still fitting in the uniforms they wore to The War To End All Wars. (There were never, ever, WWII vets -- it was too recent, too painful, and parading would have been unseemly.) Occasionally, some decrepit fellow from the Spanish-American War would be driven by on the back of a fire engine. (Invariably, he seemed lost.) There were Boy Scouts, too, on flatbeds tossing hard candy to the children in the crowd.

But most of all I remember the high school marching bands, playing very dodgy versions of Glenn Miller hits from the war years.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

There is something both sweet and poignant about such parades; they have an innocence that provides hope in a cynical, techy world. Last week I went to a high school graduation party where 18-year-olds enjoyed, among other things, a game of musical chairs, and then helped clean up. How refreshing.

Reggie Darling said...

Lovely. Our nearby town has a parade on Flag Day, which is a sight to behold. You are inspiring me to photograph it for a (possible) post...next year. Reggie

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Your photos are just amazing!