• jamesbriankerr

Peaceable Man Files #5: It's the Merry Month of May, a Feast for the Senses


Random musings on life at my cabin in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania and wherever else my gypsy existence takes me.


It’s May, my favorite month of the year (alongside with October).


I’m just back from my morning walk with Cassie, which reminded me of just what a feast for the senses this month is. The sky today is the perfect blue of a robin’s egg, not a cloud to be seen. Trees budding red. Flowers in bloom.


After the long, gray winter, the world is back in full color again, as expressed so beautifully by the English poet and dramatist Thomas Dekker in his poem published way back in the year 1600:


O, the month of May, the merry month of May,

So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green.


Yes, so green. Green, green everywhere. The grass, the leaves, the shoots of clover and Timothy hay growing in the fields next to my cabin.


But it’s not just my eyes that are awakened by the sights around me on this lusty first day of May. It’s all of my senses. A soft breeze wafts across my face, and I catch the sweet fragrance of wild rose and crabapple tree blossoms rising from a nearby patch of woods. I stop to take a whiff of one of the crabapple branches—ah, it smells awesome. I touch the petals—so soft and smooth, like stroking Cassie’s silky ear.


And of course, the birdsong. The birds are out in numbers this morning, filling the air with their mellifluous song. Robins, cardinals, Carolina wrens, sparrows: they each have their own unique voices, and together they create a blended chorus that rivals anything the best orchestra could offer.


We humans are blessed with five senses (some would say many more than that) and on this day, I am able to engage four of them in my morning walk. The only sense left out is taste, and soon, when the honeysuckle comes out, I will be able to engage that one as well by stopping to suck nectar from the stem of a honeysuckle flower, something I’ve been doing since I was a kid.


For whatever time I have left on this earth, I plan to live fully, engaging all five senses in my walk through life. And for me, there’s no better place to do that than in nature, especially in this merry month of May. How glorious! How lucky I am to be alive on a day as beautiful as this one! All my worldly concerns, all my aches and pains, momentarily lift as I give thanks for the gift of being alive.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.


A great start to a favorite month. May your month be merry and green.


***


In case you missed it, I had a couple financially related articles published this past week in HumbleDollar. The first was on six things to keep in mind before making the leap into retirement, based on my own experiences a half year into my “repassioning.” The second was about the importance of following data, not your gut, during times of market turbulence such as we’re facing right now.


Also, many thanks to everyone who has read and provided feedback on my new debut book The Long Walk Home. I can’t say how enough I appreciate the feedback and support I’ve gotten on the book since its launch two weeks ago. The publisher has gone through the first printing and is doing a second print run, so if you’ve ordered a copy in the past couple days, please be patient—more books should be on the way this week. If you’re so inclined, please take a minute to leave a review of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever else you find it.

Reminder that I’m donating my proceeds from the book this year to the humanitarian relief agency Samaritan’s Purse in memory of my good friend and former colleague Pete Noll, who passed on last year from a rare form of blood cancer. Pete was a selfless volunteer with the organization.


Finally, reminder that Blydyn Square Books is throwing a book launch party this coming Saturday, May 7, from 1 – 4:30 p.m. at the Red Cedar Grille in Colmar. If you’re in the area, please stop by. We’d love to see you.

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