Saturday, May 12, 2018

Celebrate the Seasons: May!

(See the other Celebrate the Seasons posts.)

I love May! It’s the time of year when everything explodes with life— the trees leaf out, the flowers bloom, and the whole world (well, at least St. Louis) becomes a tangled mat of green. Here are some ways to celebrate this exciting month!

1. Plant flowers for bees. The nights of frost are behind us, so break out those flowers (and tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, corn, and beans)! Some of the best flowers for pollinators are actually herbs: bees and other pollinators love dill, thyme, oregano, basil, and lavender. Be sure not to spray any chemicals on the flowers you grow, and if you buy starts instead of seeds, be sure to ask if the plants have been sprayed with pesticides. (Pesticides weaken bees’ immune systems.)

2. Take a walk in the rain. Although this May has been unusually dry, chances are that it’ll rain at some point, and we’re getting to the time of year when you won’t get hypothermia by going outside. (But if you hear thunder, stay indoors.) Leave your electronics behind and take a walk in a proper downpour, experiencing the feeling of water on your skin and clothes— immerse yourself in the moment. 

3. Think about giving a different kind of gift for Mothers Day. You don’t have to default to dinner and flowers— take some time to think about what your mom (or other special woman in your life) might appreciate. Here are some great suggestions from the Center for the New American Dream. 

4. Visit a farmers market. It’s that time of year again! If you live in a metro area, chances are there’s a farmers market near you. Check for listings on Local Harvest or just Google “Farmers markets near [your town].” Chat with the vendors, learn about what they’re growing, and try a new vegetable or two!

5. Try some “forest bathing.” This phrase is a literal translation of a Japanese phrase that embodies the concept that you should spend time deeply immersed in the forest. Find some woods (if you’re in St. Louis, here’s a good place to start), walk slowly through them, and take in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures. 

6. Take a bike ride. May is a wonderful season for getting out on two wheels! If you live in the St. Louis area, check out the ever-expanding Greenway system. Elsewhere, see if you can connect with people who bike to find out the best routes.

How do you celebrate May? 


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