For most gardeners and lawn owners, dandelions are the bane of their existence. With deep taproots and efficiently far-reaching seedings, dandelions can be almost impossible to banish. I’ve seen homeowners who turn into weed hunting maniacs if one crops up on their meticulously manicured lawns. God forbid a rough wind spreads the wispy seedlings! The effort it takes to uproot a fully formed dandelion is gargantuan.
Dandelions Are Life
I can’t help but think that dandelions are life. How often have we worked relentlessly to appear perfect on our Better Homes & Gardens outside only to have one of our deeply rooted dandelion traits pop up overnight? Even worse than dandelion traits, sometimes we have methodically, obsessively curated the perfect life: the right neighborhood, the best schools for the kids, church, social groups, profession, and vehicle only to start discovering dandelion incursions all over our previously pristine world. These dandelion infections are enough to make a girl sick! They are frustrating, annoying, disruptive, and persistent.
A Change Of Attitude
But, what if we stopped getting frustrated by them; quit trying to uproot them? What if, instead, we changed our attitude? Could they actually be beautiful pieces of ourselves, which we perceive as imperfections, but which really add some much-needed pop of color to the monotony of our green lives? Maybe they are wonderfully beautiful detours that, although unplanned, are no less lovely. Perhaps they are an opportunity to dig deep within ourselves to right some wrong instead of mowing over them. But, more importantly, I think they might be the chance to permit ourselves not to feel guilty about our imperfect lives.
Your Imperfections Are Showing!
I don’t know about you, but my life is not perfectly manicured. In fact, it’s littered with unexpected troubles, aggravating interactions, blindingly frustrating circumstances, and rather than having a life lawn with a single dandelion distraction; my life is more dandelion than fescue. Surveying the backyard this week, I marveled at the fact that although my son had mowed the lawn just the day before, newly sprouted dandelions reached several inches above the freshly cut grass. At first, I was aggravated; I had been inspecting the patches where the lawn was worn thin or trampled down to the dirt and thinking about how to fill them in quickly; instead, I was confronted by a veritable army of “weeds.” To add insult to injury, they didn’t even attempt to grow in the areas which sorely needed ground cover but amid perfectly healthy regions!
Searching For Dandelions
As quickly as the thoughts flashed through my mind, I was suddenly enveloped by the welcome flush of a smile accompanied by a sweet memory. As a little girl, I would search for dandelions. They were, after all, the most abundant flowers in the neighborhood and fair game for picking in our apartment complex. No one had spent hours toiling over their growth, and if I plucked a bucketful, mom would be thrilled with the bouquet and put it in a place of honor on our tiny kitchen table. My own little girl had already brought me five or six dozen bouquets since spring had sprung. Each lovingly arranged bundle with bright yellow dandelions, delicate pink lady’s fingers, tiny purple, and white wild pansies, periwinkle speedwell, purple deadnettle, and a few long talks of shepherds purse thrown in like baby’s breath.
Maybe I was looking at dandelions all wrong.
Suddenly I was struck with the ridiculous thought that I should be looking for dandelions. My mother had always told me if you look for flowers, you’ll find them, and if you look for weeds, you’ll find those too. What you see depends on what you search for, AND how happy you are with what you find depends on how you perceive it. I don’t think contentment comes from always having things go your way. I’d say it comes more from your attitude about the curveballs life throws at you. Are they “happy little accidents” like in Bob Ross’s painting world or something negative? So, maybe life’s dandelions aren’t so terrible; I do kind of like the bright spots of yellow blanketing the lawn.
I really enjoyed that read!! I never looked at problems or unexpected things in my life as a possible form of happiness. I can take those things that are by nature looked as bad and maybe begin to appreciate certain things more. Thanx for this.
I’m so happy you enjoyed it!
This writing is amazing. It should be made into a TED talk! What a motivating message. If we can each make ourselves see the beauty in our imperfections, maybe the world could too. The Bible says, the man who has not sinned should throw the first stone and that is exactly what I thought about with this piece. Everyone has pops of color in their perfect field of green, so why do we ALL judge and scream at each other to cut our lawn 🤔
Thank you so much! I’m honored. It’s so easy to think we don’t measure up in this imitation of life Instagram culture, but it’s those dandelion things about you that make you endearing, beautiful, and unique and we need to start celebrating our dandelions!
What a wonderful world you have opened up for everyone to see and hear.
MAGNIFICENT ! Your mother and father would be so proud. I know I am.