Tanz in den Mai

There are a few ways of dealing with trouble. Yep, trouble, as spelled in “I just bought a house cheap and I´m finding out it should have been cheaper” kind of trouble. There are of course the usual ways of calling in experts to fix the mess and calling lawyers to find out if those that “conspired” to sell you a nightmare instead of a dream house can be forced to hand back some of the cash. That is not what I mean though, because doing these things gives me more of a headache. I hate having to get angry to get justice.

No, I am talking about the how to stop the troubles from taking over your mind and personality. Do I want to be mean, impatient, aggressive, stressed or vengeful? No.

A friend warned me yesterday. She said “remember that in a few months you will have solved all these problems, one way or the other, but don´t make the mistake of taking this out on your family, because that you cannot fix.”

After sitting at the computer for the rest of the day, contacting and writing and researching about the house, plunking a pre-fab meal in front of my kids and MAKING them watch Wall-E to keep them happy and after realizing too late the little one had not finished his homework and neither kid had played the piano and the house we currently live in is a total mess and thinking “I should have called my sister”, who is not feeling well, I finally was able to cry. I wiped off that happy face and let it flow. It felt pretty good and awful. Right now I can break down and cry you a river at a seconds notice. Big improvement from keeping it all in. That is the kind of measure I´m talking about.

After a hearty cry, came early bedtime, a good sleep, another cry and then a bike ride to take my boy to school. As I rode that bike I was thankful. Thankful that I have the opportunity to take my child to school, thankful for my child, thankful for my teenager, thankful for a supportive partner, thankful for the sun on these late April days and flowers, the future that I will have in a finally fixed up house of my own and thankful that a friend spoke to me at the right moment.

So what I suggest is follow a good friends advice, admit your sorrow, cherish the family and then you can plod on. Plodding on also means to get myself together and write on the blog.

May is almost here and the burst of flowers and their colours in the last few days has been amazing. The birds are busy building nests, my sage, mint, rosemary are looking much better. They smell and taste delicious. The rose bush is full buds and soon the fragile yellow flowers will burst forth and spread a sweet scent through the air. I let the plant climb up to the window of my children and I hope that the scent sweetens their dreams as well.

For me, the first of May is a Day off. A day off to celebrate Labour. Appropriate. There are other reasons to celebrate May of course. There is the “Tanz in den Mai”. A modern celebration of Dance and Song taking place on the 30th of April. Stay up late and dance into the first of May and into spring. Find a Maypole and if it does not belong to your village try to steal it for your village, which is a fun sport in some areas of Germany. If you are a pagan, this is the time to celebrate the arrival of spring and if you are christian commemorate the english Saint Walpurga, who lived in Germany. It seems everybody in history wants their share of the 1st of May and why not?

Straightening out and seperating all the traditions would take some time though. Who would have thought that the Saints Name now lends itself to the Walpurgis Nacht (night of the 30th of April), when Witches and Demons are said to be celebrating on hilltops. And who would think that when you are jumping across a “May Fire” with your loved one, you are not only testing your love and trust, but are acting just like those witches and demons?

All these traditions have come together and like flowers of the spring burst with colours of celebration and the sharing of joy. We come out of our long winter sleep and start the fires, chase away the cold and dark of winter and welcome a new circle of life, the circle we are all part of.

I remember my May Fire night on the Heiligenberg near Seeheim. The nights are still cold around that time of year and we welcomed the warmth of the fire. We, then 17 year olds, spread our blankets, enjoyed food and warmed our insides with local wine, sang camping songs and enjoyed the grand view down on the Bergstrasse, where spring arrives first in Germany and across the vast valley. All around us there were other camp fires lighting the night and the former residence of the Battenbergs, otherwise known as the Mountbattens (yes, as in Mountbatten-Windsors) rose up behind us. Oh dear, that was a long time ago.

In more recent times I have trampled the Weinwanderpfad. This is a lovely opportunity to walk and drink the various wines of the region along the Bergstrasse. Strategically located stands, along a path in the vineyrads,  sell the local goods and pour them into your sampler glass, which you can hand around your neck with a leather contraption for better transport. Keeping the glasses small has the advantage that you get drunk slower. Walking helps you work the alcohol off again and if the feet can´t find the road anymore despite these precautions, just roll yourself down the hill into one of the many little “Weinstuben” which offer… more WINE of course and local cuisine of every variety. Be warned, if it is sunny, and it just might because it is the Bergstrasse, that alcohol will have you. If it rains the wine will keep you warm (not dry).

Whatever way you choose to celebrate your 1st of May, the idea seems to be get out those walking or dancing shoes, move, shout, sing, feel alive and share.

It´s been a long time since I did anything special for the 1st of May. This one my soul needs a party, so see me there.



01.05.   22. Bergsträßer Weinlagenwanderung
  Kultveranstaltung! Wanderung durch das Weinanbaugebiet “Hess. Bergstraße”. Weinverkostung an 8 Probierständen. 9.00 bis 18.00 Uhr. Weinlagenweg
und Heppenheim
Hess. Bergstraße,
(0 62 52) 7 56 54


PS If you want to Wander along the stretch, without the wine, you can do that anytime. The path is permanently posted. Totally recommendable in spring.

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Filed under Germany, typical german

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