It’s pine pollen time on the island! Though I rarely see the yellow particles in the air, I can readily identify their presence on everything left outside—tables, beach shoes, chair, and our car. All surfaces are coated with a fine yellow film that makes some cough and sneeze. Once I saw the wind dislodge clouds of pine pollen, setting drifting across the bay though usually it’s invisible. Despair and depression can be like that. Individual causes may seem minor, but soon they accumulate and coat everything that should be shiny and bright. Suddenly the world is dulled in despair and hopelessness. Please help me, O Lord, to shake myself free of this choking coating so that my enjoyment of the life you’ve given me is not clouded by the accumulation of problems and worries I’ve let pile up. Help me to breathe in the breath of your life and your love so, like the pine pollen set adrift over the water, I am free to be joyful in your presence. Amen.