Today is May Day, and I am in Minnesota. May Day is the last of Bryn Mawr’s four big Traditions, and this year is the first May Day I’ve missed since I first discovered Bryn Mawr College’s May Day. Despite the fact that I am 1,200 miles away from the festivities at Bryn Mawr, despite the fact that I am an alum, today is still May Day, and May Day will always mean Bryn Mawr to me before International Workers’ Day, or Beltane, or anything else. I will always be a Mawrtyr at heart.
It’s cold in Minnesota today — and because I moved back here just over a fortnight ago, I’m not celebrating with Bryn Mawr alums in person today — but I’m still commemorating May Day in my own way. Wearing white, eating strawberries and cream, drinking a mimosa, listening to “As Cool As I Am,” and watching The Philadelphia Story. No lounging on the Merion Green and listening to music; a distinct lack of seemingly never-ending sweet drinks; no streaking or skinny-dipping; no hoop races, Maypole dancing, or (even more tragically) May Hole dancing; no a cappella concert; no crowds of Mawrtyrs wearing white amidst the cherry blossoms; no Step Sing, “Bread and Roses,” and tearful goodbyes during “Goodnight” — there are some things reserved exclusively for May Day at Bryn Mawr College.
I’ve had a lovely day here, but I wish I’d been able to be back at Bryn Mawr for May Day. “As Cool As I Am” and The Philadelphia Story are very much May Day to me, and I’m glad to have them, but May Day is really about community. It’s about gathering together as a college and spending time with friends and the larger community. None of the traditions from May Day are meant to be solitary; they’re all about being with others.
I’ve changed a lot over the past year. I’m no longer the girl I was during my first May Day; I’m no longer the person I was at my Grand May Day. There are things I did last year at May Day that I couldn’t do now. But I still love Bryn Mawr; I still love Traditions; I still love May Day. I wish I could have been there today in order to celebrate May Day, and I send my love to all my Mawrtyrs, wherever they may be.Anassa kata, kalo kale Ia ia ia Nike Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr! May Day!