By Laurie Sheldon
|Writing in a layer of pollen on a vehicle.|
|Male and female flowers don't always live together|
|Axial female bud, left; mixed male bud|
with elongating catkins, right
|Male flowers, swollen with pollen|
|Fallen catkin with anthers extended|
Most grains will not make a meaningful connection, poor things. The male flowers they once inhabited will dry up and fall from their lofty perches, and the leaves they hung in front of will get the green light to grow. April showers will wash away all that remains of the grains that hoped to start something wonderful but ended up splattered across lawn furniture, patio screens, and driveways.
So instead of getting irritated the next time you find yellow dust on your just-washed car or brown bits of catkin on the living room carpet, just stop. Breathe deeply. Sneeze if you must. Then proceed as follows:
(1) Consider how lucky you are that your destiny isn't pinned to an afternoon breeze
(2) Know that the pollen had hoped for more in life than to do a faceplant on your Honda
(3) Reflect on your new understanding of its unfulfilled potential
and (4) Remember that none of our majestic oaks would exist without the efforts a pollen grain forty microns long.