When I lived in Stockholm, the day prior was 'fira Valborg'. On this day, towns and villages would come together bringing all the last signs of winter (dead branches, bush, the odd christmas tree) and create a large bonfire to welcome spring and the harvest season.
I remember my first bonfire night in Stockholm well. As I threw my torch in, I was overwhelmed by the size of the blaze (see below).
As I stood well back from it, I thought about the symbolism of the day. Often over the winter months we armour ourselves against the cold with layers of clothing, hats, mitts, and often by staying indoors. In life, we often put up armour to protect us from feeling. What we don't realize is that while it protects us from sadness and pain, it also minimizes our ability to feel happiness and joy.
In honour of May Day, and in welcoming spring, let's peel off a layer of 'winter's armour' and look for an opportunity to truly feel this week.
Happy May Day!