Fall is My Favorite Problem

It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when fall would arrive and my whole body would receive the cool air and the crispy leaves like a love letter from nature. Giddy with anticipation, I would take deep, open mouth breaths to get as much of the gift inside my lungs as possible. Fall is still the love of my life but the relationship has become a bit fraught.

Every day of the year I take two kinds of allergy medicines. One prescription to help my asthma not react to allergens and the other a former prescription, now over the counter solution to too much sneezing. Mostly it works, until fall arrives. What I am allergic to in the fall is unknown to me, but very known to my immune system. I sneeze now, hundreds of times a day. On particularly bad days I break down and take Benedryl on top of the other drugs, but it makes me feel lightheaded and groggy; it’s not ideal.

Yesterday sneezing and blowing my nose exhausted me and I was tired of hiding away from whatever it was my immune fighters were waging a war against. I got out my camera and my macro lens and I decided to document the weird flower garden I planted this year. After the seeds come up you’re supposed to thin out the seedlings, but I didn’t, and now I have a bush of flowers, and the bees are very happy. This could be a metaphor for the piles of essays I’ve started, a whole bushel of words, crowded and smooshed against their neighbors. At some point there’s going to be a fight for resources, but for now I’ll let them grow together and see what survives.


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