Dandelion Gossamer and Fragility

Does it seem to you that our lives, our moments, our circumstances are so fragile?

I saw this dandelion blossom today while walking. dandelion 2

I barely noticed it; it was so hidden in place sight.  Yet when I did, I had to stop and admire, considering its gossamer weightlessness.

Every moment of its life is valuable.  From its tiny first spouting leaves, to its larger growth, to its bright yellow blossoms that so strongly signify that spring and summer have arrived.  These small plants, which are so hardy and durable, seem to trigger a strong divisiveness in people.  You either like them or you don’t.

For me, as a young child, I delighted is seeing these ubiquitous bright yellow blossoms in the yard, in the neighborhood, everywhere I looked.  They seemed so full of sunshine, so optimistic and pretty.   When I learned about dandelion butter, I was even more entranced.  Rub the blossom on the skin under your chin and lo!  Your skin is as yellow as well, as if rich creamy butter had run down from some delicious bite of buttered summer corn.

Yet there are others who view these yellow blossoms with chagrin.  The sight of the first leaves, first buds bring about horror and dismay.  They are a mar on the perfection of a green expanse of lawn.  I do not know when or how this fascination with lawn perfection came about.  It is rather curious to me.  While I do see how a swath of green uniformly-cut grass can be a thing a beauty, I am not at all disturbed by the inclusion of dandelions or other green growing things in the mix.

There are those, so adamant in their control of lawn perfection that a huge industry has evolved to support it.  There are grass fertilizers, feeders, nutrients.  Specialty grasses for sun, shade, mixed light and more.  Pesticides to do away with the insidious “weeds” such as dandelions which are a blight on the green perfection.

But each living thing has its place and purpose.  Today as I pondered the fragile, feathery dandelion blossom, I thought of my mom.  She is 94 and is much more fragile today than in years past.  Mom at Bot Gardens

She requires more care, more attention, more gentleness than in years past.   I thought of how we, as children might pick the puffy dandelion and watch in amazement as we blew the little starlit seeds off the stem.  We would watch them fly away on the breeze or fall in a shower of fluff.

In our doing so, we were part of the master design for the transformation of that particular blossom.  Is that not the beauty of this fragile moment, when the maturity of the dandelion life is past it peak, yet still viable and a thing of wonder, great beauty, great mystery.  And in a moment more, it is gone, transformed into a new voyage floating on the breeze, not knowing where it may land.  Not knowing whether or not it will be fruitful in another life, but so full of that potency.

So as we each also grow, age and our season comes to maturity, we might seem to become a bit more delicate, more fragile, more easily scattered to the wind, perhaps not knowing how our life and potency will land.  Somewhere in that mystery, I believe we all have value and worth, we each have purpose.  Our lives are the foundation and seeds of another day and another era.

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