The first day of May in France and Belgium is La Fête du Travail (Labor Day). It's also May Day and offering your friends a small bouquet of flowers, lillies of the valley called Muguet, pronounced moo-gay, is customary. The bouquet is considered a porte-bonheur ( a bringer of happiness and luck), and celebrates the arrival of spring. If you are anywhere in France or Belgium today, you'll notice people on street corners or in shops selling these little bundles, nicely wrapped in paper and ribbon.
I remember a few years ago there was young girl selling Muguets on the corner near my house in Brussels. She was all bundled up in her coat and hat, and the white lillies looked more like snow flakes than spring blooms. She was determined to get rid of her bundles of good luck, rain or shine, and I relieved her mitten bound hands and bought the rest of her bouquets. Today, I'm sitting outside my house thousands of miles away, watching dozens of sailboats drift by while basking in the sun that has finally kissed the Bay Area. I haven't seen any Muguet, but they are never far from my mind, much like my friends spread across the world.
To all those I love, and like a lot, I wish you luck and happiness and all the pleasures that spring and new beginnings have to offer, and I offer you this Muguet bouquet.
May your day and life be full of them.