Springtime in East Tennessee and the glorious paradox…
The Dogwood Trail signs have gone up in Knoxville in anticipation of the Dogwood Arts Festival and the beautiful springtime blossoms that are on the way. The Bradford Pear trees are already blooming. If sneezes had a face, the Bradford Pear would probably be it. The temperatures are moderating, and after the crazy winter we endured during February, the change of season is a welcome one. But spring does bring its own set of seasonal allergy symptoms.
I’ve suffered with hay fever for decades, as many East Tennesseans do, and different seasons with their various kinds of plant life will cause different symptoms. Eyes that itch/sting/water, sneezing, drippy/stuffy noses, headaches, fatigue, coughing, congestion…and crankiness. Even the dog has allergy symptoms in the spring and fall. We do what we can to keep on top of his sneezing and itching with medication.
As a singer, I try to stay on top of my allergies as well, because the mixed multitudes of mucus that happen make a difference in how my voice feels and sounds. It is a constant balancing act of antihistamines, decongestants, hydration and prayer! Years ago, I went to my family doctor, affectionately known as Dr. Awesome, for yet another sinus infection and he came into the exam room and asked how I was doing and why I had come to see him. I replied, “I am The Queen of the Snot People!” He roared with laughter, checked my ears, nose and throat, gave me prescriptions and said he loved how I described my symptoms. (I figure I might as well keep a sense of humor, especially at the doctor’s office, because usually that’s the only thing I can control there—modesty and dignity usually fly out the door!)
Here’s the thing, the glorious paradox. As snotty as I am this time of year, it’s worth it to be able to enjoy the incredible beauty of God’s creation. The winter is giving way to spring’s vibrant color in flowers, grass, trees, and the returning birds and bees. My senses can rejoice in the glory of nature all around me, in sight, sound and scent. How blessed I am to have the chance to take in such great majesty in even the tiniest of these miracles.
Gracious Lord, thank You for the loveliness of Your creation. And thank You for each sneeze reminding me that my immune system works! Forgive me when I complain and keep me mindful of the beauty all around me.