Mayflower is Cheshire’s county flower and is best found in the month whose name it bears. Traditionally, however, it was not included in the ancient May Day festivities and garlands, for it was thought to be bring bad luck if taken indoors. This might have come as some relief to the flower, seeing as it rendered it less likely to be cut and stuck in a vase or a virgin’s hair.

In Mark 7:15-16, the Lord Jesus declares:

“There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The immediate context is the Jewish rites of ceremonial cleansing, but a broader meaning may also be applied. What we eat and drink does not defile us, but what we do. A mayflower cannot bring bad luck into a home, but evil thoughts and wicked behaviour can certainly blight individuals, families and communities. As well as the week’s rubbish and empty milk bottles, may our homes be sources of goodness, blessing and hospitality.