Pine Nuts: A saint takes on the Mother Nature |

Pine Nuts: A saint takes on the Mother Nature

Until you turn 70, Mother Nature does not know you exist, or care for that matter, but when you turn 70 you become an object of interest to her that was lacking before.

As an example, we were out collecting trash in our lovely village when I spotted a piece of rubbish beneath a Manzanita bush, which I reached down to retrieve. As I managed to get a grip on an empty beer can, I stepped on a dead weed that exploded in my face.

This minor incident resulted in an eye that closed up tight as a tick in a dog’s ear, a minor malady that caught the Mother Nature’s attention as she mused to herself, “Well, if this little weed can shut his eye tight as a conga drum, what might happen if I mess with his immune system?”

What Mother Nature can do, and what she is inclined to do, if she is in a spiteful mood that day, is to effectively place a bright neon sign on your back for every invasive species in creation, that reads, “OPEN FOR BUSINESS – ENTER HERE!”

The nightmares you might enjoy on this particular night are nothing compared to what is actually going on inside your body. Microbes are planting flags in different organs, only to get run off by various rotifers and fungi that make homes for themselves in your liver, your spleen, and other places you did not know were habitable.

When you awaken you feel as though you are occupying the entire room, and you are too large to get through the bathroom door for a much needed visitation. So you lay there, like a bloated frog, contemplating your sins, wondering if the Humane Society might possibly come put you out of your misery.

Then the miracle happens. The phone rings and you pick it up.


“Oh my, you sound terrible … you sound like somebody dropped a piano on you, I’ll be right over.”

As this human saint walks in the front door, Mother Nature steps quietly out the back door and loses interest in you for a while. But you know she is sitting out there on the back porch, humming to herself, wringing her hands.

So you promise your friend that you are going to start taking care of yourself, and start eating raw kale, and drinking 10 glasses of water a day, and getting to bed early, and stop swearing, and, and, I can’t remember the rest.

The bottom line is, so long as there is a human saint to call on you, Mother Nature will have to content herself with sitting on the back porch, humming to herself and wringing her hands.

The important thing, the essential thing to remember, is that on some days we get to be the saint, and we get to be the one to dispatch Mother Nature to the back porch to sit, wring her hands and contemplate her sins.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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