May Day and Miracles

It was May Day and Madge had had a really good night's sleep. It was a reason for celebration in itself, so rarely could she say she had really slept well. She put it largely down to the latest attempt at the restoration of her body to its factory settings of good health and strength. Part one had been the broth. Part two was a grounding sheet. A fabulous bit of modern tech that meant one could sleep as if sleeping on the ground, the Earth's magnetic force bringing balance to a world full of random electric forces. As one who had always been a bit of a live wire, being grounded was a real comfort.

The other comfort was knowing that at least some of her friends would be getting a day off for May Day. The traditional worker's holiday that had its roots in revolution. Or did it? She realised that she didn't know enough about the history of May Day and indeed, had only been aware of it when she went to university all those years ago. Before that, she'd had no idea. No clue about politics beyond the lyrics of The Jam. She smiled at the memory of getting her 7 inch copy of A Town Called Malice in the early 80s. She'd had felt terribly cool and loved the song without truly understanding its meaning. “You better cut down on beer or the kid's school gear, its a big decision in a Town Called Malice...yeaaahh”

It felt that in many ways, not much had changed in those 40 years, even though the world had changed beyond recognition. It was the same class warfare that it had always been she supposed. Some have more, others have less. It was ever thus. She thought back to her first May Day event, back in 1992 when she had only just met the woman who, three years later would become the lover who became the wife. Life was full of surprises she thought. Surprises and miracles.

That year, still in her first year at uni, juggling the transition from sales rep to student, she had been invited by the SWP to attend the rally for May Day. Oblivious to the Socialist Worker Party and all they stood for, she had gone along because she had a crush on the cool woman she had met in the canteen some months before hand. It was held at Ally Pally and was an open, free event full of tents and speakers and people milling about on the grass. Madge had been utterly transfixed but still contained within herself. She had never seen so many people in scruffy t-shirts sipping warm beer and giving out pamphlets. Up the workers. And so on and so on.

She recalled the woman from the SWP who she had once heard telling a comrade that she was going to America for the summer but that her friend should ring her ' if the revolution started.' Madge had always found this an odd thought. What would the revolution look like that one could fly back for it? As it was, the woman had gone to America and returned for the rest of the course and no tangible revolution had taken place. Perhaps that's how it is with revolutions thought Madge. They happen quite. Certainly, Madge had been through a number of quiet revolutions within herself. She thought back to that sunny day, students sprawled on the grass exchanging radical ideas.

“One day, you'll stop wearing all that shit on your face, stop shaving your armpits and stop wearing those dainty shoes. Then you'll be free.” The radical revolutionary from the SWP had declared her prediction to Madge in front of a small group of, frankly, quite grungy looking people and Madge had been horrified. She had cultivated a power look from the late 80s and had yet to discover the freedom of fully flat shoes. It still made her smile to think how long she spent each day applying make up and making sure her hair was just right. In corporate world, it mattered to wear a mask. University and meeting people from everywhere had changed that.

Now it was May Day in a post pandemic world and she had no idea where the woman from the SWP might be but she would have loved to have seen her just once to show her how right she had been. Madge had long ditched the make up and heels and indeed, those who knew her know would probably struggle to imagine how the journey of liberation had started. Today she was without makeup, often without shoes and rarely did she reveal the nest that was her hair. Her nails were short because hands were for working, though not today.

She wondered what her friends would be doing and hoped they would get some rest, however that might look. She knew it unlikely that all would have time off in the 24 hour availability expected in the modern world but she had learned that people found their space where they could. Certainly, she had found the space over the years to find her freedom. It was in the mind. She had a free mind and a free day to celebrate the freedom of love. She had fallen in love with her girlfriend some years ago and today, they celebrated an anniversary. It was a good day to send out love, cosmic hugs and wishes for a hahalala revolution. Time for broth and a bit more bird watching before the world woke in earnest. Binoculars really were a great gift. xx