By Molly Butler

Folks, it’s about time to flip the calendars. We began April with a poem, so we ought to end on one too. Let’s say goodbye to a beautiful thing. Here’s “The Falling Star” by Sara Teasdale.

I saw a star slide down the sky,
Blinding the north as it went by,
Too burning and too quick to hold,
Too lovely to be bought or sold,
Good only to make wishes on
And then forever to be gone.

There is so much we want to capture; in words, in stories, in our cameras and phones, in photo albums and Facebook feeds. I have a terrible memory. I find myself taking out my camera in a kind of desperation, trying to keep this moment forever, never wanting to forget. I worry about not appreciating it all enough. I worry about not being present. Then, oh the irony, I’ve jammed a screen between me and the very moment I’m trying to save. It’s too easy to get caught up in the image of the thing rather than the thing itself. (It’s getting a little Plato, a little Allegory of the Cave in here, so I’ll digress.)

I think it’s that space between what you know and don’t, that glimpse at the unknown, where awe is born

The other day my parents and I were discussing that saying, “There’s what you know you know, what you know you don’t know, and what you don’t even know you don’t know.” It’s a favorite conundrum of mine, one of those thinking about thinking prompts that can get real existential real quick.

I think it’s that space between what you know and don’t, that glimpse at the unknown, where awe is born. That’s where we get to peek behind the curtain and see, ah, it really is out of our hands. It’s the moments that can’t be bought or sold; the shout of “look!” faces turned up to the sky, the scent of pine, the tail end of a shooting star, already gone before your eyes believe it. This poem is a reminder that it can’t all be caught, and it shouldn’t.

So, relax. You can’t pin it all down. You aren’t meant to. We have an absolutely beautiful weekend ahead of us. Enjoy!


Get ready for May Day! A to Zinnia of New Ulm will host a May Day Make and Take Class this Friday, with time slots from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Create a springtime arrangement that will make someone’s day! Perfect for neighbors, teachers, grandparents and friends. You can get your tickets online. Don’t miss the end of the North Mankato Taylor Library’s Craft with Me. April’s craft is Marble Mugs and is open to teens/tweens and adults. The craft is free, but registration is required. The take-home kit includes materials and instructions.

Support local radio! KMSU at Minnesota State Mankato has kicked off its Spring Pledge Drive. You have until May 7th to help them reach their goal of $30,000 to support their programming and keep the lights on. All pledges beyond the goal will be able to go towards improvements to the station and their equipment. Don’t be shy; visit their website or call 507-389-5678 to pledge.

Vine will host another Virtual Class. How to Manage Wound Care will help individuals treat minor wounds at home and prevent complications from improper treatment. This event will take place online, and you can register here.

Nina Robinson’s installation, Me’lange, will be at the 410 Project in Mankato through May 8. The gallery will be open Friday from 2-6 p.m., but if you miss it, you’ll have another chance Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

Wrap up National Poetry Month with the Blue Earth County Library’s reading series. This Friday, they will host author Candace Black, as well as an open mic night. Black’s poetry has appeared in Pinyon, Great River Review, and War, Literature & the Arts. The series will conclude with an open mic opportunity to share original poetry.


It’s May Day! The forecast is calling for a beautiful, warm day, so don’t sleep on it! Jumpstart your weekend with Nicollet Bike and River Valley Running. They’re hosting a Fun Run & Bike event, starting in their parking lot and ending at the Hub Food Park! Bikers will leave the lot at 8 a.m., with a choice of gravel or paved routes, ranging from 25-45 miles. Runners will take off for their 5k at 9:15 a.m. Bikers and runners will reunite around 10 a.m. at the Hub for food trucks and the River Valley Maker’s Market, featuring 15 local vendors. Whether you bike, run, walk or drive, there’s something for everyone to come shop and eat! Vendors will be there until 4 p.m.

As the weather continues to brighten, more motorcycles are hitting the roads. Mankato East High School will host a Motorcycle Awareness Parade. All motorcyclists are welcome, and there is no registration required to join the parade. The lineup begins at noon in the Mankato East parking lot, and following the parade, there will be hotdogs, chips and a fun run. If you or a loved one likes to ride, you know how important it is to spread awareness and keep your eyes open to cyclists. Spectators welcome!

Then from 1-5 p.m., ARTrageous of Mankato will have their Grand Opening at their Front Street location. There will be a chance to make May Day baskets, flower power flags, door prizes and gorgeous chalk drawings. Head down to welcome this new endeavor to the community.

Patricks on 3rd in St. Peter will host a Kentucky Derby Viewing Party. Join them for the best 2 minutes in sports! Enjoy a Woodford Reserve Mint Julep in a keeper cup, only $7, as well as a derby coloring sheet for the kids.

The Circle Inn will host their Spring Vendor Craft Show in the parking lot. Get warm-weather items, décor and Mother’s Day gifts at this one-stop-shop. As always, the Circle Inn will have off-sale available in the backroom as well. Stick around for the Great American Stache Bash, featuring outdoor music and fun. Music will be provided by the Murphy Brother’s Band, Nate Boots and the Rain Kings. They’ll keep the music going ‘til 11 p.m.


E-Star will be at the Fillin’ Station Coffeehouse in Mankato with Tarot for Tips. Come in from 1-3 p.m. to explore your inner world and discuss your archetypes, future and reading. Plus, you can grab one of the Fillin’ Station’s many delicious menu items. I’m partial to the new Nitro Chai.

Mankato Playhouse will hold Jr. auditions for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Bring sheet music for a song you know (not from the show), and a pianist will be provided. Head to their website for more information.

It’s that time of year! The return of fresh veggies and flowers! Valley Veggies is officially open for the season on May Day and will have hours from noon to 5 p.m. this Sunday. Buy plants from their greenhouse and say hi to the farmers.

Bonus: May National Months

April was National Poetry Month. May is also loaded with month-long observances. I’m not sure who gets to decide it’s National Asparagus Month or National Egg Month (I didn’t make those up), but there are some noteworthy causes to bring attention to.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, ALS Awareness Month, and Stroke Awareness Month. And while I can’t create an album for all these causes like I did Poetry month, I would encourage everyone, as always, to treat a new month as a new opportunity.

Set your goals. Set your sights. Step out of whatever rut you may have found yourself in and step towards the places you want to go and the person you want to be. In the words of my great aunt Jaki on our latest phone call, “Let’s leave better than we went in.” Have a happy May Day and a wonderful May!


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.