Nature Meditation #21 – Nature Makes Me Sick!

Surprise meditation this week – and no quote to pull you in except that the title is TRUE.

I’m struggling with allergies, and so are most of my family and friends. Why is it that this time of year, when everything is so beautiful, fresh and green, is the time of year that we all have stopped up heads and runny noses?

The answer, as you know, is that all of the trees and grasses are putting out pollen and other seeds so that they can increase their numbers during the summer growing season. Here in eastern Oklahoma, the he elms and oaks and ash and cottonwoods are all ‘going to town.’ Sweeping seeds off the sidewalks and outdoor lliving areas is a constant chore. Sweep them off one day, and do it again the next.

Admit it, there is something unpleasant about nature at certain times of the year. We can always find an excuse to NOT go outside. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, my allergies are acting up, the mosquitoes, flies, bugs, etc. are biting.

You may be wondering, how can someone love nature when there are so many irritating things about it?
The answer for me is the Boy Scout motto – Be Prepared!

I remember to take my allergy medicine and stay inside during the early morning hours when the plants  release their pollen. At home, if I get out during the day when the wind is blowing, I wear a face mask to keep the pollen away from my sinuses.

If bugs are a problem, I wear something to repel the bugs, like a spray or insecticide towellette. There are also other new options to repel flies and mosquitoes but I can’t testify to their effectiveness.

To prevent sunburn, I wear sunscreen, or a long sleeved shirt made of a light fabric, as well as a sunhat. And to be prepared for cool weather, or changing weather, I dress in layers and carry a jacket or sweater.

Being prepared is one way to alleviate or reduce the unpleasantness of nature at certain times of year.

I could write another meditation called, NATURE SCARES ME! – But whether you are scared of insects, snakes, spiders, dogs, or poison ivy, there is one answer to take care of it all. Educate yourself. Read all you can about whatever it is that frightens you. Chances are it is not as plentiful as you fear, or as harmful as you may believe. And once you have learned that it has a place in nature – a reason why God created it – maybe you will begin to understand why it must be part of our world.

These fears can be terrifying. The Discovery channel has a show about getting over these fears, and it takes intense – and gradual – conditioning to be able to get past some fears. Usually our fears are based on some childhood experience, or on a story that we heard, or something our parents or grandparents said. But whatever the fear, you can get past it if you are determined to do so. 

I speak from experience. I used to be terrified of spiders. And for a naturalist, that was weird. I couldn’t even look at a picture of one in a science text without getting the shivers. But gradually, over time, I learned more about spiders and their function in nature. I learned that few of them are poisonous. And now, although I don’t want a spider for a playmate, I can tolerate their presence.

So – thanks for reading today’s post – and good luck on coping with the challenges of nature – like allergies – and with overcoming your fears!

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