A summer’s evening, my world rotates, spins, over and over, my vision blurs then I stop, it keeps moving, grass blades swirling inches from my face. Our dog Tiny is grabbing my laces and pulling.
At the time I’d think that she was just trying be annoying but later I would realise that I was wrong. We were children, children she carried about, rolling down a grassy hill at speed, carefree and laughing, it looked like falling, that we were in trouble. She was trying to save us. And we never thanked her.
My brother would later sneeze, his eyes water and he’d complain about the grass, attacking his senses. That’s what hay fever was, my brother’s discomfort, which I watched and didn’t understand.
Until this week.
I have suddenly developed hay fever. At the age of thirty one.
How strange it is for my body to forget those long summer days playing in fields, moving my fingers up a stem of grass and to force the seeds into the the air,to float across warm evening skies. Now I live in the city, and the wilderness is controlled into parks, and trees erupting from a small patch of earth surrounded by concrete or my neighbour’s enviable gardens. My garden host to a single flower pot, filled to the brim with pansies, some white flower my mother said to buy and a lavender with a death wish. While some fanciful weeds intermittently rebel around it.
At night I lay awake, my nose blocked, trying to force air into it, and to sleep uneasy, my dreams haunted by drinking glasses of water to awaken my mouth dry and the bed empty.
Colm had moved to the spare room, my snoring monstrous, usually I don’t, I sleep quietly enough, a ninja of the unconscious plains.
And I’m unsure if it the tiredness, the lack of sleep, my heavy lids and blocked noise but I feel a strange melancholy.
I want my body to remember the good times, when grass was something that brought joy not fear of invasion, some foreign body to be hated and fought against.
‘Well have none of your kind in these nostrils’ it angrily cries. Unaware that they once would welcome the fragrant smell of grass like a childhood friend knocking on the door of my subconscious saying
“Summer’s here, come out and play.”