The Golden Road
XII. Flowers O' May
Accordingly we went a-maying, following the lure of dancing winds to a certain
westward sloping hill lying under the spirit-like blue of spring skies, feathered
over with lisping young pines and firs, which cupped little hollows and corners
where the sunshine got in and never got out again, but stayed there and grew
mellow, coaxing dear things to bloom long before they would dream of waking up
'Twas there we found our mayflowers, after faithful seeking. Mayflowers, you
must know, never flaunt themselves; they must be sought as becomes them, and
then they will yield up their treasures to the seeker--clusters of star-white and
dawn-pink that have in them the very soul of all the springs that ever were, re-
incarnated in something it seems gross to call perfume, so exquisite and spiritual
We wandered gaily over the hill, calling to each other with laughter and jest,
getting parted and delightfully lost in that little pathless wilderness, and finding
each other unexpectedly in nooks and dips and sunny silences, where the wind
purred and gentled and went softly. When the sun began to hang low, sending
great fan-like streamers of radiance up to the zenith, we foregathered in a tiny,
sequestered valley, full of young green fern, lying in the shadow of a wooded hill.
In it was a shallow pool--a glimmering green sheet of water on whose banks
nymphs might dance as blithely as ever they did on Argive hill or in Cretan dale.
There we sat and stripped the faded leaves and stems from our spoil, making up
the blossoms into bouquets to fill our baskets with sweetness. The Story Girl
twisted a spray of divinest pink in her brown curls, and told us an old legend of a
beautiful Indian maiden who died of a broken heart when the first snows of winter
were falling, because she believed her long-absent lover was false. But he came
back in the spring time from his long captivity; and when he heard that she was
dead he sought her grave to mourn her, and lo, under the dead leaves of the old
year he found sweet sprays of a blossom never seen before, and knew that it
was a message of love and remembrance from his dark-eyed sweet-heart.
"Except in stories Indian girls are called squaws," remarked practical Dan, tying
his mayflowers together in one huge, solid, cabbage-like bunch. Not for Dan the
bother of filling his basket with the loose sprays, mingled with feathery
elephant's-ears and trails of creeping spruce, as the rest of us, following the
Story Girl's example, did. Nor would he admit that ours looked any better than
"I like things of one kind together. I don't like them mixed," he said.
"You have no taste," said Felicity.