Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Detente would be good enough for me.
I can almost hear the oak trees whispering "Reya must die!" Actually, I think they're shouting.
Diplomacy is an excellent skill to cultivate. It really benefits interactions among our own species, or at least it can. Yesterday and today I'm wondering whether it's possible to negotiate successfully between humans and plants. Is it? Of course many plants are already our allies, so there's no need for diplomacy there.
But what about the plants that are openly aggressive towards our species? No one would ever say that poison ivy, for instance, is a great ally, right? Do we try to seek a peaceful relationship with poison ivy? Never. Right? Everyone I know, when encountering poison ivy, puts on big gloves, then yanks it out of the ground without a second thought. End of story.
In a blog I read yesterday, the writer was trying to figure out how far she should go to accommodate a wasp who decided to build a nest in a porch planter. (She decided against allowing it, flooded the nest when the wasp had flown away.)
My quarrel with the oak trees is seasonal. During the summer they are great allies, providing cool circles of shade that protect me against the hideous DC summer sun. They're beautiful to look at in all seasons, quite regal, in fact. But in spring when they are pollinating, they are NOT my friend. Like the Hatfields and McCoys, we just don't get along.
The common wisdom among humans is that we should tank up with antihistamines and pretend we're allies even if we aren't. I'm all for tanking up on herbs and drugs, but I also very consciously avoid their territory. I want to be respectful, even though I admit that I do feel mighty hostile towards them at this time of year. Sad but true is that when the breeze blows, oak pollen can travel far and wide. Sometimes pollen from a particular oak is found forty miles away, or so I learned this morning. Hence I'm thinking there's no avoiding them, no matter what, especially in DC where there are a million of them.
You see all of this is my attempt to lift my annual allergy whinge to the level of philosophy. Pathetic attempt, eh? OK. I'll stop now.
Loved these little girls on scooters and tiny bikes, zipping around the periphery of Lincoln Park last night, clearly oblivious to the lurking presence of oak pollen.