Every year before May starts, my mother calls my aunt and they give each other a miniature pep talk such as two soldiers might do before battle.

Every year before May starts, my mother calls my aunt and they give each other a miniature pep talk such as two soldiers might do before battle. "It's almost May. Are you ready?"
"I am."
"Good. Buckle up."

It's a tad ironic when you think about it. Just when the natural world is starting to really get things under way, much of mankind is cramming for finals. I mean this first in the most obvious sense of the phrase. Many of us are literally cramming for finals. However, a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas can cause a hurricane to strike Rio de Janeiro, and because of May's position on the calendar, everything falls into orbit around it like planets around a star, or perhaps more appropriately, a black hole. There are graduation parties, award banquets, first communions, a considerable number of holidays, (Mother's Day and Memorial Day being the most popular in the United States, but there's also Cinco de Mayo, Armed Forces Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, VE Day, and for nerds like me, Star Wars Day) and perhaps a few birthdays thrown in there as well.

May is also placed just before wedding season, and the end of the school year signals an open window for anyone looking to move. With all of this excitement, it's not surprising that May tends to leave one feeling a bit overwhelmed.

What really irritates me is that (if we discount the unfashionable sleet we encountered at the start of this month) May is such a pleasant time of year, particularly in contrast to the recent past, and yet my laundry list prevents me from enjoying it as it begs me to. Instead I stand like Tantalus with fruit dangling over my head and water beneath my chin, yet perpetually dying of hunger and thirst. While I may not have served my son to the gods in order to merit such a fate, I can't say that my punishment isn't just. The truth of the matter is that I have committed a gruesome crime utterly despised by the civilized world. I have procrastinated.
There is nothing that motivates me to cultivate the amateur pianist in me like an unmowed lawn. Facebook and YouTube enchant me like a siren away from any final projects I need to complete, and it's only by the grace of God that I don't have a Twitter or Tumblr account, elsewise I would probably still be catching up on work from February.

While all of these things are rather enjoyable, they would be infinitely more so if I had the peace of a clear schedule to accompany them. As such, please take a word of advice from someone who is already too far lost to be redeemed: put off procrastinating until tomorrow. Get all of May's rubbage out of the way and enjoy this time of year while you still can. In other words "Gather ye rosebuds while ye May."

Clarke Peterson is a 16-year-old student who lives in Leavenworth.