After the longest winter ever (which is the exact same thing I thought after the winter before this winter), the snow is gone, the windows are open and our pale bodies are getting solar shock waves. Yes, spring is here! Spring, poetically, a time of new beginnings. After many months of dormancy, we creep out from under the dark skies to see bright sunlight, blue skies filled with puffy clouds, blossoming buds on trees, green grass, and…most naturally…weeds. Oh yes…the wonderful crab grass, “creeping Charlie”, and most wonderful of all…the enormous fields of dandelions. Those yellow-headed tormenters of every human pining for that perfect, blue-green grass yard. Dandelions (apparently from the French for “dente de lion” (translation: lion’s teeth). Those ugly, pesky, weeds with those teeth-like leaves, milky sticky stems. They sway in the wind, laughing at us as we take to spade and shovel…digging up their roots…hours on end. Those awful…wait a minute. I just had a change of heart. Don’t those yellow, sunshiney weeds…ahem…flowers, make the most beautiful bouquet?
After looking at my yellow-punctuated lawn, I decided that I was too tired to deal with weed pulling. I could do it tomorrow right? (Dandelions, like rabbits, multiply at an incredible speed.) What was one more day? Once done cleaning out my lawn, I am sure the seeds from neighbouring lawns will immigrate over to my place. Why not? Grass is always greener on the other side…especially if you’ve dug out your weeds. I entered my home and saw a glass sitting on the counter. It was full of dandelions. Oh yes. The outdoor came indoor just to taunt me. Little Kennie came running out of her room, “Look at the beautiful flowers I picked for mommy!” she exclaimed proudly. Suddenly, those weeds became a bouquet of roses. If I could somehow copy the view of a child and transform it into glasses for adults, I believe I could achieve world peace.
That exuberant comment from a five-year old brought me back to when I was a youngin’ (a few years ago). I recalled how my brother and I went picking EVERY dandelion in our yard. Knowing what I know now, I’m sure my mother was initially fuming as all the roots were still in the ground meaning she would have to go out another day, after they rebloomed, to dig out the roots of those weeds. But on that day, a miracle happened. My mother gave us both big huge hugs and thanked us for the beautiful flowers. We were ecstatic at her happiness and we were thrilled that we had thought of something so wonderful to make her happy. (I know it sounds weird that we found a beautiful vase to put them in… an old stubby beer bottle… but if you grew up European, it wouldn’t really surprise you.)
It’s funny, but I remember that day so clearly. We didn’t have money to buy nice stuff for mom. We took time, we picked carefully, we displayed them lovingly, and that hug was incredibly memorable because there are lots of memory gaps about my childhood (probably a good thing). Having Kennie beam about her beautiful bouquet, brought me back to my memories of trying to please my mother and those dandelions actually did the trick. That also got me thinking…who deemed them weeds?
Nowadays, you hear about dandelion salads. So, the lion’s teeth are actually good for you. Wine is made from dandelions as well. So, it must be a good thing right?
My other funny thought as I write this, is my nephew reading an article about angels reporting to God about people killing his beautiful flowers and trying to have strips of green grass. Funniest part was how they fertilize their lawn and then complain about how they have to cut the grass all the time. Yeah…that’s crazy. God asks what’s wrong with his flowers? “They are weeds,” say the angels. Well, LOL…I think it’s an amusing story. It kind of makes me want to find out what company decided that green grass was better than beautiful golden flowers. Not only are those flowers bright and happy, they transform into toys as well. Once the dandelion is done being a happy royal yellow, they dry out and become little puffy white clouds that, as children, we loved blowing off the stem to see how far they would fly…like bubbles. Again I ask myself…why do we hate dandelions?
For the record, I find the thoughts and views of children very refreshing, invigorating, and absolutely honest. I love asking children questions and I love challenging their ideas to see what new idea they will come up with. They are smart, creative, naïve, brilliant. I lost my rose coloured glasses awhile ago. Growing up and dealing with belittlement, sarcasm, sabotage, and many other wonderful adult traits, I keep myself fresh and young and happy by listening to those who know the way the world really works. Youth, who have not yet been tainted by overbearing adults, have wisdom that we adults do not have. Don’t get me wrong. Children need rules and guidelines, but creativity should be encouraged. We adults forget that we need time for fun. Work is there to pay bills. Don’t live for work. Work to live.
I, the regular adult me, is writing my “To Do” list for tomorrow. It includes, grocery shopping, vacuuming, cleaning, dusting, paying some bills…you know..regular adult stuff. After my Big Girl chores are done, I believe Kennie and La-la and I will wander around the yard and pick a beautiful bouquet of bright yellow flowers for mommy. Flowers mean love. Beautiful, golden, hand picked flowers are the most wonderful gift a mother can receive. Roses, though beautiful in a vase, cannot replace happily, hand-picked, chosen, golden yellow dandelions in a glass. That is true love.
Today’s Innocence Wish: May you look at your golf green lawn and appreciate the uniqueness, hardiness, and beauty of the hearty dandelion. It will NEVER leave you. It will always gleam happily yellow daily and once it’s done its daily duty, you can kick it happily and watch the grey wispy puffs float high and joyously into the sky. Hmmmm, kind of like life. When you’re young, you are loud and proud…bright and yellow and glowing with life. As you age, you weaken. The brightness fades. You begin to soften. Those who appreciate you see that you still have the wisdom and wings to fly. A light blow of encouragement. You leave your regular residency and move to a new adventure, unknown as you blow away in the wind. Child’s game? Wisdom of youth? Freedom of age?
Yes, deep thoughts about a simple scourge on society or am I being very dramatic about something so simple. Hmmm, drama makes life interesting and being a grandma of four, life is definitely going to be interesting. Not only interesting, but educational. Oh yes. I believe strongly in education. Those youngin’s are going to teach ME a lot about weeds and flowers and, I am sure, many other things. I will teach them, and/or challenge them, but I will also include lots of hugs and kisses because that’s what grandma’s do. (As they get older, it becomes kryptonite so use it often in their younger years).
I will sign off with this piece of advice: None. One thing I learned; never offer advice to parents. I will only say this: Remember where you came from.
P.S. (oh…by the way…Kennie has a younger sister and her nickname is La-la thanks to her same age cousin…another new cast member a.k.a. St. Luke)
P.P.S. Woo hoo! As I finish this article, I would like to introduce yet another contributor. He is a little young, two day’s old, but I know he will become as prominent as the others. Welcome newbie GTH.