May dawned upon us this morning, and though the first day of a new month is always a time to begin anew, this one requires more than just whispering ‘rabbit, rabbit’ when you wake! Back in Oxford, May Morning is special. At dawn on May Day students stay up all night, or just wake up really early, and walk to stand beneath Magdalen Tower or on Magdalen Bridge. The Magdalen College Choir sings a hymn from the top of the tower to greet the dawn, and other music and festivities occur in the streets. Afterwards, people generally go to breakfast (and then sometimes back to bed, if they’ve been up all night after a ball – or they have to get on the river to train for Summer Eights!) My friends and I made the most of May Morning in our second year, when no one had exams in the summer term, and I still remember breakfasting afterwards at Patisserie Valerie on the High Street, everyone laughing and chatting companionably despite the sleep fogging our minds. There were lots of exciting times at Oxford, but that one stands out particularly in my memory because it was just so casual and normal, and yet so wonderful – one of the little moments that, strung together with a host of other good times, makes for the most wonderful memories.
This morning began with a run along the East River, and though I wasn’t up in time to watch the sun rise, I did get to see some lovely sights. Roosevelt Island always looks pretty from the path.