May is a fun month in the Philippines. For one, we have Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) which is a feast dedicated to Mother Mary. And we also have Santacruzan, a procession held in honor of Reyna Helena. To be Reyna Helena is a coveted honor among the ladies.
May also heralds the rainy season. After the long and hot summer, we'd finally have rains in May. It was said that the first rain in May is therapeutic. This is the one time when us kids would be allowed to play in the rain (although did not really happen much because it's cold in our hometown of Baguio!) and we sometimes stored water from the first rain to bathe in later.
Well, here in New Zealand, May is the last month of Autumn. It is definitely getting colder, and the sun sets much earlier. At 6PM, it's already quite dark! I used to water the veggie patch when I arrive from work, but I sometimes find it difficult to do now because it's dark and quite cold. If the sweet peas have not been bringing me much pleasure because of their flowers and ensuing peapods, I would not think twice about staying inside the house!
Well, the first of May also brought with it something else besides rain. Hailstones! I noticed it because the rain was noisier than usual, and when I saw the raindrops seemed to be bouncing off the ground, I knew we were having hailstones. It was quite a show, and it went on for some time.