Dandelions

By | March 13, 2014
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They’re actually quite beautiful really, dandelions.

Their bright yellow flowers signal the greening of the world and spring. Most people consider dandelions an ugly weed, but they are quite lovely. They are symbols of rebirth and of childhood. The first flower I picked for my mom was a dandelion; I picked five or six and she put them in a glass of water; she was so pleased with me for thinking of her.

I suppose we all picked dandelions for our moms when we were kids. We didn’t know or care they were weeds then. In our innocence we saw only the beauty in their bright, yellow flowers.

How sad we become so complex as adults that our idea of beauty becomes so narrow and so wrong. There is beauty all around us but our own complexities are piled so high we rarely notice unless we think the beauty we notice could benefit us in some way. A man. A woman. A painting. A statue. We only notice the beauty that might bring some benefit — some reward to us. It’s the selfish, yet so telling “look what I’ve got” desire inside us. It’s a hard to get away from that “look what I’ve got” desire, isn’t it? We’ve all experienced it – it’s a difficult desire to quell.

Beauty is like a dandelion – we really have only to glance to see its beauty. It’s hard to see dandelions as beautiful, though, if we see them as a weed to be destroyed… lest they  ruin the pristine, plush green of our lawn. But a field of buttercup-yellow dandelions is a dazzlingly beautiful sight.

Some beautiful things are always there or us to see every day — the endless canopy of stars twinkling on a cool, clear night. The sunrise can bring majestic beauty to each morning but we rarely take notice – it brings no benefit, only a reminder that we’re late or that we have to get up and begin another day. Yet the benefit it brings is the gift of a new day, a new day we can use to improve ourselves and be a little kinder to others. We don’t have an unlimited supply of new days, yet most mornings we awaken and we don’t give a thought to the gift we receive. Each of us will have that last new day, maybe then we’ll look back with regret that we didn’t pay attention to the symphony of sunrise that played for us each dawn but we nonetheless ignore.

It is ever too late to recognize the beauty we ignore? I wish I knew the answer to that. One thing I do know is that there is beauty in everything around us if we care to look beneath the surface.

Not everything is as it seems to be.

Many worthy and beautiful things are hidden from our eyes. Who finds beauty in a very old person? Not many. Yet there is beauty in wisdom, but it’s very hard to see – you have to look beyond those aging eyes and wrinkle face to see it. Who finds beauty in an extremely obese person – like the one who waddles down the aisle in front of us in a grocery store? Not me and not many others either. But there just might be a golden heart inside that grossly misshapen body – maybe no one sees it because no one bothers to look beneath the surface.

When I think about it, I realize that I often think of unattractive things as weeds – and probably you do too. Just weeds in our lives and of no consequence. He or she is ugly we might say. Is he or she just a weed at which we avoid looking? For all we know they may well be far kinder than we are or than those beautiful people we call our husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, or best friends. That’s an ugly house, we might say, yet it may be the most wonderful home to a most beautiful family who shares a great love and a familial bond far greater than any we’ve ever known.

To some the world is poxy with weeds: To the powerful the weak may be weeds, to the rich the poor may be weeds, to the healthy the sick may be weeds, to the beautiful the ugly may be weeds. We may consider those whose backgrounds or colors or religions are not the same as ours as weeds. Some working people consider those on welfare weeds — lazy, lacking, weeds. We grow up and we stop looking and stop seeing the best in things.

We lose the ability to see the dandelion as beautiful flower and instead we see it as just another unwanted weed.

So much of the beauty in our world is hidden in the things we may consider weeds. As children we picked dandelions and gave them to our moms as and thought of them as lovely gifts – and they were. But it didn’t take us long to learn that dandelions are not really pretty at all because they are just weeds. Our perspective changes and we become blinded by growing up and the loss of simplicity. The more complex we become the less we look beyond the surface of things and the less beauty we see. We judge beauty differently than children because, I think, we become selfish.

There so many beautiful things in the world that we simply don’t see because we simply don’t look. There is so much beauty hidden in the world in those things we consider weeds.

There is beauty all around if we only care to look. It is true of with the moon and the sunset and the hawk on a wire and the bees and cat tails. It is true with old ladies and old friends and old aunties with stories from long ago. It is true with old books and old teddy bears and ancient barns.

There are beautiful things all around us. All we have to do is take the blindfold off of our eyes and look.

Now when I see dandelions in someone’s yard I wonder what method will be used to kill them. Will it be poison or will they be plucked out of the ground and tossed in the garbage?

I wonder how many beautiful things I miss every day? I wonder how much beauty I’ve missed because much of what I see I consider to be weeds.

Children are innocent and full of wonder and because they are they can see flowers where we see only weeds.

It just occurred to me that spring is well on its way to summer and I’ve yet to notice a single blossom. I’ve been too busy to notice, my mind too confused to care, my spirit bound with worry. I’ll never see the tulips or the daffodils of this spring — maybe next spring I’ll see them. But one of these years there will not be a next spring and if miss the tulips and daffodils that year, I will never see the beauty of a daffodil or tulip again.

I guess it won’t make any different the year I don’t have a spring. I’ll be part of the Earth, the sky, the stars, the clouds, the oceans, the cosmos. I’ll be taken back from where I came — that a nebulous ephemeral spinning cloud of dust and gas that swirls majestically between the galaxies waiting for gravity to spin it into a star.

May I could just start all over again. On days like these, I wish I could.

Now that I think of it, I don’t recall seeing the pretty yellow dandelions this year either But that’s okay. I bet a lot of children noticed and made their moms gifts of a bunch of them. At least somethings are still right in the world.

It’s too bad that children have to grow up or at least it’s too bad that adults aren’t a little more like children. I guess, though, they are. Adults keep all a child’s bad characteristics and none of the good. Adults are possessive like children – most don’t like to share. Adults are impatient like children – they want what they want when they want it.

But children can see beauty in weeds. All kinds of weeds. They find the find the beauty in people of all ages and they find beauty in ugly and overweight and very old people too. It’s too bad we have to grow up without the ability to see the beautiful things that are hidden inside. It’s too bad we have to grow up and never again see the beauty in the weeds that grow all around us.

The next time I see dandelions, I’m going to pick a few and put them in a glass of water. I don’t know what good it will do. But it won’t hurt anything and I’ll remember when I pick some dandelions for mom and made her smile. I’ll try to remember, but almost assuredly won’t to look deeper for the beauty that is all around me but hidden in the weeds that grow everywhere.

Maybe dandelions will make me smile again someday.

14 thoughts on “Dandelions

  1. Barb Branca

    I find beauty in the way you express yourself in many different subjects you tackle. Look forward to many more years of such beauty!

    Reply
  2. Sandra Corbin

    What a beautiful article!
    A few years ago, I was blessed to have a friend named Fran who was getting older and losing her vision. She awoke one morning, looked out her window and saw many, many golden yellow flowers.
    She lived with her daughter and son-in-law. That morning she gleefully told her son-in-law, “Jerry, I just saw so many beautiful yellow flowers growing in the back yard.”
    He laughed and said, “Those are dandelions.”
    Fran replied, “They may be dandelions, but they are beautiful to me.”
    You see for her to be able to see the bright golden color from the dandelions made her happy and she was thankful to see such vibrant color. We should all strive to see the beauty in each other and in the world God has given us.
    Whenever I see a dandelion I always think of Fran — and I smile, and praise God for her love of life and beauty.

    Reply
  3. Sylvia Kendall

    Beautiful sentiments! I love dandelions too and argue with people who call them just weeds. Such a beautiful flower and the ‘clock’ or seed heads are magical. I remember picking the ‘clocks’ and blowing the seeds off them to find out the time! Childhood – yes, a wonderful time that goes too fast. Oh, that we could retain the wonder of childhood within us forever.

    What determines a weed? I have heard it said that anything growing in a place not wanted by people is classified as a weed. So logically, a magnificent rose growing in the middle of a wheat field must be a weed! It’s a nonsense isn’t it? Who in their right mind would ever call a rose a weed?

    Getting back to dandelions, these actually have some health benefits eg dandelion tea for aiding digestion and helping with detoxification. Looking out of my window right now, I see a garden scattered with what so many would call weeds. I am in a new house and the garden hasn’t been landscaped yet and is still bush land. There are so many types, colours and heights of different grasses growing and they truly are a lovely sight, even if they’re not all growing in classical rows and formal beds! The shades of green are amazing. I love them all. Scattered here and there are lovely desert rose plants, which also grow along the roadsides here, and which the council street gardeners routinely chop down and clear away. Hmmm …. we live in a strange world.

    Reply
  4. June B

    God bless you for reminding me about the beautiful dandelions that I too used to give lovingly to my Mom & when I became a Mom I, too, smiled as I put the beautiful flowers from our children in a glass of water.. I have always told them “that life is not a rehersal” and we can never go back to ‘play’ it all over again any differently…We just have to try and. do it right the first time and hopefully we will see the beauty in the dandelion.

    Reply
  5. Larry Deason

    If you have never had dandelion wine you don’t know what your missing!

    Reply
  6. Barb

    They are beautiful! I have a tortoise that loves them! He eats his way through the yard each spring!

    Reply
  7. Melanie Wood

    Darcy! Thank you for the ride through my childhood and those of my children and grandkids. I was always the slow kid as we walked to the store (yes over a mile…) who saw great beauty in the dandelion flower (Hey! I just realized it’s real name is Dan de Lion!) I still get great joy out of carefully picking the seed puffs and blowing Angels at the world. I taught my offspring to collect some delight that way even though some chemically inclined lawn owners think it’s rude and annoying. Our recent ancestors knew that Dan de Lion Tea is very helpful when you are feeling a bit peaked; and the greens are a tasty and extremely nutritious addition to diet. Now do a piece for me on Sour Grass! (do you have it back there, I wonder….) One can’t be a California Kid without wandering through the woods or somebody’s back yard and finding the bright yellow or hot pink Sour Grass clumps, reaching for a flower and wincing as the sour taste from the stem wakes you UP! Thanks again..

    Reply
  8. Eileen Edwards

    We are fortunate here in the NW. The dandelions are in bloom already. The sun has been out a couple of days and they are in their glory. I guess it is hard to see them under the snow. They are like gold. Good for salads and to cheer up moms. I don’t care much for the smell but they are a pretty little flower.

    Reply
  9. Holly H Cohen

    I live only a half hour or so from Eileen and agree we are fortunate to live in the NW. This story of the dandelions sums it all up and so glad others see all the beauty there is in the world. All I need is to see my dog play outside and jumping at the dandelions to see the joy and beauty in her eyes. Thank you again CLOUDEIGHT 🙂

    Reply
  10. Carolyn

    Dandelions – the stubborn, determined, and prolific flower of all time. I never, but never, bother to “weed” my lawn to rid my yard of them. The wild rabbits eat the leaves as do the squirrels – did you know that? The bright yellow is a joy to see, meaning Spring is just around the corner. I only mow the lawn when it gets too high for me to find my dog’s calling cards. Relentless in their determination to survive, it but takes a few days for them to send up new shoots to replace the ones I mow down. A challenge to you and anyone else who wishes to try this: lay down on the grass so you can see between the blades of green. Search and you’ll find more than just dandelions inhabit your green expanse. See how many little flowers you can find there. Oxalis, miniature mallow, ground ivy with tiny purple blossoms, common vetch, chickweed, plantain (always where there’s stinging nettles), speedwell, and the rascal of all smells “stinky Bob” which is probably the only one I dig up and dispose of due to its horrid odor. But there’s a myriad of micro-sized flowers in that seemingly vast sea of green grass. See how many you can find. Very calming and I’ll bet some of your worries will leave….except the issue of having to hoist yourself back upright. LOL

    Reply
  11. Sally Thomas

    Oh for Pete’s sakes! When I was a kid one of my chores was to go out into our little family orchard (only about a quarter acre in the middle of the Oregon woods) and whack all the pretty little yellow flowers off their stems so they would not go to seed and spread. They may be pretty, but they are very invasive and make your yard downright ugly with their huge “footprint”.
    Sorry to sound like an old party pooper, but Dandelions were something I dreaded seeing start to bloom when I was a kid and I never could see them as anything but an invasive weed.
    That said, I still want to compliment the author for her ability to see the beauty in what others see as ugly pests.

    Reply

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