Monday, April 11, 2011

Hands off my dandelions!

The folks in the know are always able to precisely
pinpoint the exact moment when Spring arrives (Eastern
Standard Time, of course!).  But for the rest of us, it is
the moments we have longed for during the dreary
days of winter that tell us that Spring is finally here.

For some, it is Opening Day at the ballpark.  The first
chance to sit with a hot dog slathered in mustard in one
hand, and a cold beer in the other as the home team
runs out onto the field.

For Dusty the Church Dog, it is when Creamy Whip, the
ice cream store only a 7-minute walk from home (or
faster, depending on his mood) opens, and he gets to
taste his first doggy cone of the year.

For me, it is when the dandelions make their first appearance
in the yard, their bright yellow faces lifted to the sun (or, as
in the case of today, drinking in the gentle rain).  I recognize
that I am in the minority with this view towards dandelions.
Most people, including my wife who is convinced I go out
in the middle of the night to plant more in the yard, consider
them to be a weed, a nuisance, an enemy.  But not me.

Maybe it is because of the childhood memories of plucking
the dried dandelions, and blowing on the parachutes and watching
them flutter off into the air, drifting lazily in the warm air.  Maybe
it is because of Ray Bradbury's wonderful novel 'Dandelion Wine'
set in Green Town, his fictionalized home town where he grew up.
Maybe it is because herbalists claim that dandelions are so good for us.

Or maybe it is simply because they are a part of God's creation,
part of God's wonderful gift to all of us we call the world.  When
I see dandelions, I remember that when God was done with
the phases of creation, they were simply seen to be good.  Not
"perfect," but good.

And that's good enough for me.

© 2011 Thom M. Shuman

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