When I began pondering the meaning of this month of May, I kept sensing it is about requesting: “May I…” and giving permission.
Often, after being with someone I briefly encountered and have touched at a soul level, I will ask “May I give you a hug?” “Oh yes, please” is the most frequent response I hear in return. Within each of us is a deep-seated need to feel respected and cherished. Yet, in our world today this need seems to be superseded by violence, abuse, indifference or exploitation.
Asking ‘May I’ also conveys a quality of gratitude that says: “You have touched my innermost being and I am so grateful”. This makes me recall the profound respect our First Nation peoples have in relationship to all of creation. They thank the plants and animals for their life and for being what was needed to sustain the lives of the people.
We have lost this awareness in our culture. As I watch lands devastated by over-use or by developers building more and more structures, I don’t hear ‘may I’ or ‘thank you’.
Can you imagine how different our culture would be if contractors would bow before the land and ask “may I build new homes upon you”? And can you imagine the earth’s response of “Oh yes, thank you for asking, I have longed to uphold families searching for a home”!
Imagine spending this month of May asking “may I…” to all that touches your soul and imagine being opened to seeing the earth, the people in your life respond by welcoming you into their tender, respectful and familiar embrace.
I smile as I imagine asking the birds: “may I listen to your song of love?” or the trees blowing in the wind: “may I watch you dance today?”
I think this is the way God is with each of us: asking “May I come closer?” “May I share with you the depth and breadth of my love for you”? May I share your life and be with you in all of your daily challenges”?
In this month of May, students will be preparing for graduation into a new moment in their lives. Mothers will be celebrated for all they are and forgiven for all they could not be, new life will be born, others will feel the ebb of their lives fade, and within it all may you hear a gentle voice ask: “May I be with you”?
I hope your heart will respond as mine does today: “Oh yes, you certainly may, thank you!”