Monday, May 5, 2008

Like Queen Guinevere, We Go A-Maying

Now it befell upon a pleasant day in the spring-time, that Queen Guinevere went a-Maying with a goodly company of knights and ladies of her court.

After the May crowning at church, Emma and I drove a little over an hour west of Houston to New Ulm for a May Pole party deep in the country. We had been invited by Emma's new friend, Lisa H., whom we met, along with her charming husband and son, at Animal Farm the weekend before.

Unfortunately, we had been bereft of our menfolk all weekend. Nathaniel had left on Friday to spend the weekend golfing and bowling with friends. Herb had had to work on the Rebuild Together Houston project on Saturday and decided to go to lunch with his Schola buddy on Sunday. So we girls were managing the best we could without knights.

Upon arriving, Lisa greeted Emma and bestowed upon her a giant bag full of all kinds of different wool: Shetland, Romney, Brown Suffolk, Angora, Coopworth, Alpaca, Black Mountain Welsh,Gulf Coast Native, and even some cotton and silk. Now Emma refers to Lisa as "my friend and benefactress."

Next Lisa introduced us all around, and Emma discovered a kindred spirit in another homeschooled 15-year-old, Lucia, who also loves to spin and sew. They quickly dragged out their wheels and set up shop on the front porch.

Soon it was time to sample the picnic supper that was laid out in the little house. Restored, we ventured to the May Pole where music books were passed out to all who were not dancing. While the dancers weaved in and out of the colorful May Pole ribbons,

we sang rounds of lilting folk songs with the accompaniment of the hostess's son on guitar. We learned a lovely song that I have hummed happily all day:

Let the wealthy and great
Live in splendor and state
I envy them not
I declare it.

I grow my own rams,
My own ewes, my own lambs,
And I shear my own fleece,
And I wear it.

I have lawns.
I have bowers.
I have fruit.
I have flowers.
And the lark is my morning alarmer.

So you jolly boys now
Here's godspeed the plow
Long life and success to the farmer!

Later, we all took a walk through the woods, around the pond, and into the lush meadow.

The day was exceedingly pleasant with the sunlight all yellow, like to gold, and the breeze both soft and gentle. The small birds they sang with very great joy, and all about there bloomed so many flowers of divers sorts that the entire meadows were carpeted with their tender green. So it seemed to Queen Guinevere that it was very good to be abroad in the field and beneath the sky at such a season.

We ended at the zip line, where we spent an hour laughing as the riders whooshed through the air, over the water, and back onto the land. Lucia and Emma picked posies while they waited their turn.

Then Emma climbed the big ladder and zipped through the air.

Twilight was setting in when we finally gathered our belongings, bid our fond farewells, and drove away, sadly, to the east. We took courage though, when we remembered our noble knights, who would be awaiting our return.

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