In grammar school, we learned the simple rhyme: April showers bring May flowers. Then one day our teacher asked: “Does anyone know what a May flower brings?” When we confessed our ignorance, she responded, “The Pilgrims!”
Get it? The MAYFLOWER was the ship that brought the PILGRIMS to Plymouth Rock! Yeah, we didn’t think it was all that funny either.
May flowers not only bring Pilgrims but also POLLEN; and it starts way back in March. Politicians often talk about “Red” and “Blue” states; however, I think they should add a third category of “Yellow.”
During the past weeks, yellow goo has covered cars, coated lawns, clogged throats, and congested noses. The golden gunk sticks like glue. After a shower, the streets appear to be paved in heavenly gold. Our Yorkshire Terrier, Sam, possesses a brown and black coat . After a walk, however, he resembles a miniature Golden Retriever.
No one can argue that spring is a beautiful season in Georgia. The trees bud, the flowers bloom, and the grasses grow. As the days grow warmer, everyone naturally wants to spend more time outdoors. Men fire-up the grills while women plant flowers and children play on the lawn. The aroma of freshly-cut grass fills the air. Azaleas, dogwoods, daffodils, and day lilies serve as harbingers of summer’s advent.
But the beauty can also be a beast. The vast palette of buds and blooms produces a noxious cloud of allergens. Sooner or later, almost everyone is affected with itchy eyes, sniffly noses, sore throats, and sinus headaches.
Doctors’ offices are jammed, and any social gathering sounds like a tuberculosis’ ward. The “Cold and Allergy” aisle of local drugstores does a banner business. People pop antihistamines like Tic-Tacs and gargle Chloroseptic like water.
I understand about the birds and bees and flowers and trees. The Creator designed this intriguing, intricate process to insure the reproduction of flora. I would never dare question the Master Gardener’s plan; however, there are times that I have enjoyed just about as much as I can stand. A reading of over 120 is considered “Extremely High” on the pollen count. Many spring days feature four digit measurements.
We can pray for rain, and a good shower will briefly cleanse the air. However, the pollen quickly returns. People resort to air purifiers, dehumidifiers, HEPA filters, and more. Yet here’s the simple truth: anyone who lives in Georgia better get used to the pollen. I suppose in the long run that allergies are a small price to pay for azaleas, daffodils, dogwoods, oaks, red tips, boxwoods, daylilies, and so much more.
In Matthew 6, Jesus told his followers not to worry. Then he pointed to the natural beauty all around them and said, “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” If God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, then surely the Creator will also care for us.
So breathe deep and give God thanks for the beauty of this earth—pollen, allergies, and all.