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Maypole Picnic

True story: a friend gave me a long thick piece of PVC pipe with holes drilled into it when she moved away from Madison. She had spray painted it bubblegum pink and she called it a maypole.

Later that year, in the spring of 2011, Helen Sarakinos and I tied ribbons to the rim of a bike wheel, and wove willow among the spokes, and sent our intentions out with the birdsong on the wind: neighbors and Friends, come gather together for a maypole picnic!

It is still just a PVC pipe with a wheel zip-tied to the top, but it has been a true pleasure of my parenting life to gather round it annually.

The May Picnic in the Park goes like this:

  • we gather from 11-1 on what is generally a very windy day on the banks of the Yahara River (in the parkway along Thornton Avenue)
  • children help decorate the pole with flowers
  • musicians bring instruments and play whatever they feel like
  • families plop down blankets and picnic baskets 
  • we have a great time playing, share food with friends and neighbors, and maybe even prancing around the pink pole








For Zadie

and for Willa

with many thanks to my mother
who has mothered us all so well.

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