Monday, February 28, 2011

Deja Choo All Over Again

Thought for the day: A truly happy person is someone who enjoys the scenery on a long detour.

Just heard from a friend in Detroit that they got some more snow. My mother-in-law told me they haven't had any new snow in Baltimore, but there's still plenty piles of it scattered around. Bet it isn't exactly pristine, either. I remember well how Baltimore's dingy exhaust-blackened slush used to linger way beyond its welcome every winter, and how eagerly everyone watched for the first crocus.

Here, in the deep south,  it's about time to pull out the snow shovels, too, but it ain't for snow. The daffodils are in bloom, azaleas are about to bust out in all their glory, and trees are on the brink of unfurling their leaves. That can only mean one thing : P-O-L-L-E-N.

I'm talking about pollen like you've never SEEN before, people! Pollen that coats everything in sight with a thick yellow-green layer of grit, that swirls through the air and scurries down the street when the wind blows, that clings mercilessly to the inside of every nostril and throat.

I am not exaggerating. The air gets so thick with pollen, you don't so much inhale it as chew it. 

Ah(choo!), but you have to take the bad with the good, right? What's watery eyes, relentless sneezing, and hacking up a lung every now and then compared to the incredible beauty of springtime in the south? Dogwood trees, azaleas, and daffodils abound. Red bud trees and tulips everywhere. It's breathtaking, both literally and figuratively.

Many years ago, I read a description of two letters. One woman's letter was filled with nothing but praise for the town she lived in. She said the people were friendly, the area was beautiful, and there was an endless number of wonderful things to do. The other letter was full of misery. That writer hated the town. Said the people were ignorant snobs, and there was absolutely nothing to see and nothing to do. The funny thing was, they were talking about the same town.

Attitude. It's all about attitude, isn't it? Most of the time, a positive attitude leads to a positive experience.  Bloom where you're planted. That's how the old saying goes, and there's a lot of truth to it. OK, so I'll quit bellyaching about the pollen, slap on a surgical mask, and go breathe in some of the beauty. Might even rake up some of those (expletive deleted) gum balls. (Still working on loving those things ...)

Oh, and by the way, writers, there's something encouraging for us in this tale of one town and two opposing attitudes, too. Just because one (or fifty) agents reject the offer to represent wonderful you doesn't mean there isn't someone out there who'd "love your town" and would jump at the chance. So, keep on working, and never, never, ever give up.

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terrible inconvenienced.

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