When, in this Martin & Sylvia's Nature School story, "Kings and Queens of the Forest", Martin leaves for Wilderness School, he can't help but feel envious of Sylvia's project with Daddy: preparing for May Day by building a huge bonfire and cooking Beltane Bannock Bread. This has his attention all morning until Eva gives his group an inspiring May Day question: What kind of King or Queen of the Forest do you want to be? And his answer helps Martin understand not only a gift of May Day but of leadership itself.
Beltane, or May Day, has been celebrated for thousands of years as a way to bring good luck in the new growing season, provide protection for livestock, and encourage the earth to wake up and grow. Like Daddy says in the story: people would celebrate by having a bonfire and having a large feast. They would also make crowns of flowers and sing and dance.
In this story, Martin learns a very important lesson about what goes into making a crown; that it's not just the materials but the intentions behind them.
As his camp leader Eva explains:
"Crowns are worn by leaders. A crown is a way of honoring those who accept the role – who accept the responsibility of taking care of a community – because truly, that is what a leader really is – a person who takes care of you, your family, and your community.”
This tutorial is not just about making pretty crowns, but making a crown fit for a leader -- whether that leader is a big sister who helps take care of her siblings, a boy who watches over the frogs and fish in the pond at the park, or even an elderly person who helps children learn to read each week.
Making these crowns is easy, but it does take time to assemble the materials. Like Martin in the story, take some time before starting to walk around your neighborhood and collect flowers. Make sure to pick only as many flowers as you need and leave the rest for the bees and butterflies.
Twine or ribbon
Start by collecting your flowers. This is a great time to take a walk and see what is happening in your neighborhood.
Place the wire circle on your child's head and adjust (by twisting the wire tighter or making it looser) it until it fits just right. You can use the wire cutters to cut off the ends or just wind them into the crown.
Happy May Day!
About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.