Women & the month of May

April 26, 2019

Recently I was in Chicago visiting my son. One of the side benefits of visiting him is going to the Art Institute while he is working. On my last visit the featured show was still being installed so I meandered about in areas that I have taken for granted. That day, I was able to see many of those pieces with fresh eyes. So many of the paintings were of women engaged in simple tasks; holding babies, drinking tea, reading alone at a table or working in shops. They were the things we all do that are taken for granted each day.

 I still consider May the month of Mary. Raised in a Catholic school, there was a yearly May crowning ceremony where the kindest or holiest girl in the school that year would be chosen to put a crown of flowers on the head of a statue of the Blessed Mother. The morning of the ceremony, hundreds of children brought spring flowers from their yards to decorate the altar.  The fragrance of lilacs, cherry blossoms and lily of the valley filled the church like no other assemblage of flowers I have ever smelled since. It was truly heavenly. I so loved that day.

 May is also a month that many women gather here in our Cafe and Tearoom to celebrate each other. There are birthdays, pre Mother’s day lunches, bridal and baby showers and girlfriends just catching up over a pot of tea. I am fortunate to witness this interchange between the members of my sex, to see how generous they are with each other and the love they share every day.

 I wanted to share some of the pictures I enjoyed that day as a reminder of how lovely we sisters are just carrying out our daily responsibilities. Simple acts worthy of a place on the walls of a great museum like the Art institute of Chicago. 


Sharon Butler