Parish Letter

May

Dear All,

‘Ne’er cast a clout ‘til May be out’!

This sounds like a line from one of my favourite books, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, but is actually just an old English traditional saying, which was first recorded in writing in 1732.  But what does it actually mean?  A clout, amongst other things, was a piece of clothing, so the advice seems to be not to discard clothing until May is out.  But does that mean the month of May?  Apparently, not necessarily, it could refer to the hawthorn which was also called a May bush – it usually has new leaves in April and can blossom and flower well before May, so now you know: don’t leave your jacket or cardigan at home until the hawthorn has blossomed.  Well, I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up!  Thank you Google.

When I was at infant school (yes, I can remember that far back!), there was a hawthorn tree in the playground and the blossoms were a beautiful shade of rose pink, with several buds on each stem.  We used to collect them at playtime from where they had fallen in the wind on those soft, warm, early days of spring, and put them in the pockets of our gingham school summer dresses to take out during afternoon class and look at secretly under the desk.

I remember looking at those little hawthorn flowers and thinking how much God must love us if He put so much care and effort into a single flower that would blossom, bloom and fall so quickly.  I still think that when I look at the natural world around me.  Take time this May to stop and look and ponder as you go about your day.  And ask yourself, if God made all of this so beautiful and perfect in its time, how much more must He love us?

With every blessing,

Chrissy

Vicar