My little fingers plucking the small white puff from the ground as I shut my eyes tightly, quietly imagining my wish before blowing the pieces of white fluff out into the wind. Back then I didn’t know dandelions were considered a nuisance, weeds to be eradicated. To me they were something more, they were hope and magic wrapped into a tiny little yellow flower. They were an ever-present reminder that each time I blew and watched the tiny white seeds disperse to the four directions, that anything was possible.
Dandelions are part of the sunflower family. The name dandelion comes from the French word, dent-de-lion meaning lions tooth because of the toothed edges to their leaves. Dandelions are both hardy and adaptable. They grow in a funnel shape so that any falling water rolls right down the plants center toward the root. The dandelion in its puffball state can spread billions of seeds with a simple gentle breeze. It is the cottony threads on top of the seed that help it in its mission to become airborne and spread ubiquitously.
I think dandelions have the uncanny ability to show us how, as we grow up, we somehow lose our ability to see the beauty and magic right in front of us and within us. We prize flowers like roses, orchids and tulips but have become blind to the unique vibrancy of the humble dandelion. Its value has somehow become invisible under the weight of our narrowed definition of beauty. But you know what? If I could be any flower…I would want to be her, the dandelion.
I want the resilience of this mighty plant and her ability to bloom brightly no matter where she may find herself planted, impervious to the bullying and contempt she encounters. Dandelions intrinsically know their worth. Unabashedly, she blooms in all her bright yellow glory, displaying the brilliance of a million suns. Dandelions do not wait for your approval or desire. She rests securely in her worth and does not question her place in this world.
I want to remember that