Morning rituals in May

May Day/May Day; no, not our international distress call, but rather my anxious unknowing thoughts as I sit concealed on a mountainside May day pre-dawn morning wondering what dawn will conjure up on this new day. A heart-pounding adrenalin rush or a tranquil wilderness encounter.

The first hint of dawn reveals a fog enshrouded valley; fog which will slowly dissipate as the sun peeks over the eastern horizon to loosen its shafts of gold. My auditory and visual senses pique awaiting the deep throated gobble from an awakening mature tom turkey announcing his new day. The duel begins between Tom and I. Tom usually wins and that’s OK with me.

This and other similar May morning rituals go on through the month until noon or on the rare occasions when mostly luck enables me to take two toms on alternate days as New York DEC law dictates. On a late waning May pre-dawn Memorial Day morning I will be waiting on a wooded overgrown and lush understoried hillside overlooking a soon-to-be visible majestic expanse of valley connecting New York and Connecticut. My senses and thoughts are fine-tuned to a kaleidoscope of the past, present and future as I await the early morning Millerton American Legion honor guard rifle volleys honoring those veterans resting in the cemetery below.

A somber day for me. I will remain in place for a couple more hours with my thoughts before returning home, putting away my gear and heading to our main town cemetery to give my own departing respectful salute while gazing upon scores of proud American flags gently unfurling and honoring those gallant men and women resting beneath. I offer a prolonged salute while silently exclaiming “forever may they fly, forever may they fly.” God bless you patriotic readers and your families. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend festivities and celebrations.

Please take a moment to say a little prayer for those who have fallen to preserve our freedoms. They cry out in unison “REMEMBER ME, I am the one who made this freedom-loving day possible for you, REMEMBER ME.”


Town of North East resident Larry Conklin is a Vietnam veteran and a member of both the Millerton American Legion Post 178 and the VFW Post 6851 in North Canaan, Conn.

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