The office is empty today. Folks are with family or friends, celebrating the holiday or the good weather, as they should be. May Day doesn’t always fall on a Sunday, but when it does, it feels right. Most Americans don’t give a thought about May Day. It isn’t “our” holiday, even though it came into being because of Americans striking for an 8 hour day. It isn’t “our’s” even though we work more than any other Western industrialized populace. We convince ourselves it isn’t ours.
Take a breath. Really, take it in. Feel it as your lungs expand. That’s what billions of workers feel when they do the exact same thing rising early to work. Getting their family’s breakfast ready, putting their uniform on, preparing for the day. Breathe it in. That same air you feel is the same air they feel. Leave behind all the partisan bullshit your representative says. Leave behind the hot air your boss spews. Just breathe the same air that every other working person breathes. Happy May Day.
We at Pine & Roses thought about doing something big for our first year anniversary. Maybe a short film, maybe some audio. Perhaps a live stream, even! But no, in the end we realized we wanted to be with people we cared about. It’s a holiday, after all. Then we got thinking, do folks know it’s a holiday? It’s May Day, god dammit! A working class Thanksgiving or Easter. But instead, Americans barely acknowledge it, if they even acknowledge it at all.
As you read this we hope you are with good company, relaxing and enjoying your holiday. We have one day together before we go back to work and think to ourselves, “fuck the man.” Enjoy some food or drink, kiss and hug your loved ones. May Day is one of the few days they cannot take away from us. Sing ‘Solidarity,’ watch Matewan or Pride. Whatever makes you feel good.
So, today we offer this very brief piece asking you to consider May Day. It’s a day for workers, it’s a day for the down-to-earth person. Consider the mother ringing up your groceries or the father serving your lunch. Consider the sister taking out your trash or the brother packaging your shipment. People actually died for what this holiday represents. Take a moment. Take a breath.