May 6, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
When I was a kid, I was one of those little geeks who loved nature. I memorized names and species of trees, plants and flowers and carried around field guides. I was in girl scouts and 4H (briefly) and participated in a Junior Naturalist program every summer of my youth. I was convinced I was going to be an environmentalist. Then a veterinarian. Then a dentist. Then a teacher. Then a history major…
Ahem. WHAT? It’s not flighty! I’M WELL-ROUNDED.
Anyways, Junior Naturalist. Trees. Grasses. Flowers. I loved ’em. I spent hours working with my mother in her now-ridiculously-overgrown garden. Every time I have moved I’ve brought plants from her garden with me (that once were in my grandmother’s garden. Sweet.). And when I’ve had jobs that have included children I’ve spent vast amounts of time focusing on passing along my love for nature. I met my husband, Mr. I’m-gonna-be-a-forest-ranger and it was a match made in heaven. Or purgatory. One of the two.
I’m still a nature freak. I’ve got my organic garden, worm poo, rain barrel and I’m working on a composter. We use biodegradable products, reuse everything we can and recycle obsessively. Even Bug Boy is in on it. We spend our summers at our favorite place, the family cabin. And while there we take the boys to nature preserves and nature walks and expose them to what we learned growing up.
The irony of this is that I’m horribly allergic to just about everything. As I’ve gotten older the allergies have gotten steadily worse. My latest bought with allergy-induced asthma has driven me inside. I listen to the birds chirp in the morning over the hum of the ac unit while holed-up inside my house with the windows shut and my hepa filter in place. It bites. BLOWS, even. It seriously SUCKS.
I want to plant my garden! I want to be pulling weeds and taking the boys to the local state park on walks. I want to hand my husband cool beverages when he cuts the grass instead of hiding in the lowest point of the house while he does it. I want to stop popping allergy pills like candy. Even my usual natural remedies are doing nothing to make it subside. This is the worst year for allergies ever.
Is there anything crueler and more ironic than a person who literally hugs her trees (and they have names) being ALLERGIC TO HER TREES? And her plants? AND HER DANG DOGS????
Mother Nature is a bully! A BULLY, I TELLS YA!