As we unpacked our small stash of beach gear, my daughter’s playmate pointed out the thick slick of yellow pollen creating yellow-green foam on the crests of waves. That’s the stuff—that’s the yellow stuff wreaking havoc on my sinuses.
Eighty-six degrees with a delectable breeze, a layer of lavender sky on the horizon, and the beach miraculously cleared of big rocks and debris, children miraculously free of bickering. If I have to suffer, I may as well suffer in paradise. The doctor is talking to me on the cell phone, about sinus infection and antibiotics, sigh. Meanwhile I read under the shade of the giant sun hat on this gorgeous, gorgeous day, while the children remember favorite water engineering projects, requiring much digging, while I sip hot tea from my thermos to ease my throat.
The book is Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life, terrifying, hilarious, powerful. I have to stop midway and open a magazine, rest my eyes on some photos.
The water is warm, the engineers say—which might not be “warm” to you, but it means I won’t turn blue and shake. Swimming will mean parting the veil of yellow on the surface, risking full-body coverage of pollen. I smile at the engineers-- okay. I’m going in if you are.
Beach season has begun. Hop in the car and drive, friends. The water is warm enough. By the time you arrive, the antibiotics will have kicked in, my head will begin to clear, and perhaps it will feel like vacation for all of us.