Day Thirty: Nature
Many times in these pages I've waxed poetic about Mother Nature, her trees and forests, her rivers and streams, and on and on and on. I have a vast appreciation of nature; therefore, it is only natural that I should write about it in glowing terms. Not this time. I'm currently experiencing the effects of a close encounter with one of nature's oldest, most pervasive predators: the common cold virus.
I know from whom I got this cold. I knew before she came that she had it, and she and I both were careful not to get too close to one another. We avoided the hugs and cheek kisses that are part of our normal greeting and parting rituals, and, after I touched the doorknob she had also touched, I washed my hands thoroughly. I'm not blaming her; I could have as easily picked up those germs at the grocery store or the post office. It just happens that I hadn't been anywhere else for five days before she came or three days between her visit and the onset of symptoms, so, this time, I know where I got it.
If I subscribed to the theory that everything happens for a reason--which I don't, by the way--I would be convinced that this cold is a punishment. You see, on the same day I was exposed to it, I'd made a last-minute decision to skip out on a birthday party. It was hot that day. I'd been to the hostess's house once before and remembered I'd have to parallel park against the curb halfway down the block. I would know only a few people there. Mostly, I knew that the two-year-old guest of honor wouldn't know or care whether I was there. So I didn't go.
Now I have a cold.
And this coming weekend there's a party I really, really look forward to. It's an (almost) annual outdoor cooking competition at my granddaughter's house, and I know the majority of the folks who will be there. I want to be there, to visit with family and friends while I sit in the shade in a canvas lawn chair purchased specifically for this event and sample the wares of some serious barbecuers. In good conscience, I can't go.
Still on the subject of nature, but switching now to human nature, even knowing that more than a handful of the people who will be there love me and will forgive me for many things, I can't believe that any of them would be delighted with my sniffy, snotty, coughing presence near their small children or their culinary creations. Even if my symptoms have abated by then, according to this article and several others I checked, I'll still be contagious.
So, I skipped one party and felt mildly guilty about it. Now I'll skip another and feel very, very, very sorry for myself.
That, I suppose, is the nature of karma. Bitch that she is.