pastoral/spiritual care

Pollen Makes Beautiful Flowers

I love spring.  Every year around mid-March, I start to get excited, knowing that the beautiful colors of blooming flowers and days of warm-but-not-too-warm temperatures are right around the corner.  The days are getting longer, and the waters of the Atlantic are getting warm enough to stick my toes in when I go for walks on the beach.  Friends come to visit me on their spring break, enjoying the wonders of the Lowcountry before the heat and humidity strike with full force.  It’s no wonder I love this time of year.

But something else happens to me in spring as well.  One day last week, I came outside to find my normally dark blue car was a funny green color.  All the other cars in the parking lot were the same color, covered in the abundant pollen released by all flowering plants in these early days of the season.  As soon as I see the pollen, I know it will only be a matter of days before the stuff builds up in my system, and then my body will have its usual reaction.  Sure enough, just this week, the sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes, and scratchy throat hit me hard.  Allergy season has definitely arrived! 

Every year, spring brings both the beautiful flowers and the sneeze-inducing pollen.  But somehow, I always forget about the pollen as I look forward to spring.  I don’t remember the mountains of Kleenex or the annoying headaches until they are upon me.  All I can think about are the long walks on the beach and afternoons on my porch swing and lunch with friends at a restaurant’s patio table and the magnificent colors of those flowers.  All those good things are what I will remember long after the spring is over.  They make the irksome pollen fade into forgetfulness. 

God, thank you for all the beauty of spring.  Like every season of our lives, it brings both good and bad with it.  In our present, the bad may seem to overshadow the good.  Help us to remember that ultimately, the good will overpower the bad, whether the bad is something as trivial as allergies, or as serious as death.  Amen.

-- Chaplain Stacy N. Sergent

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