I am a successful gardener. My specialty? Dandelions! Though most gardeners (myself included) struggle the entire growing season to remove these perennials and their deep roots, God did create these flowers we chose to call weeds.
“A weed is but an unloved flower.” - Ella Wilcox
These perpetual shoots of yellow love to grow among my carefully laid out plans, distracting my attention from other beauties. I tend, though, to agree with Eeyore, friend of Winnie the Pooh who said: “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
I befriended dandelions this year. Dandelions entertained me with delightful memories while I weeded last week. Instead of a nuisance, this flower invited me into the wonder of God’s ingenuity.
Remember as kids, taking one of the flowers and squishing it around on your best friend’s face? If it left a smudge of yellow, it meant you like butter.
Or even more meaningful – remember taking the dandelion that has transformed into downy seed and blowing on the white feathery ball? Counting the number of puffs needed to remove all the seeds is claimed to tell us the time or the number of years before marriage. Or we could determine if our true love was really true by blowing on the dandelion fuzzy ball three times; if at least one of the fuzzy seeds remained, it was taken as an omen that our sweethearts were thinking about us.
And nothing grabs the heart of a mother so much as when our babies toddle over to us with their gift of dandelions clutched in their tiny fists. “For you, mommy,” they beam. Just think – one of the first tangible gifts of love from our children is often a bunch of freshly picked dandelions.
The dandelion flower symbolizes persistence and a strong will. It is also thought to represent wishes coming true, cheerful love, and general happiness. And wonder upon wonder, each flower head is actually composed of thousands of small ray flowers. What a miracle.
I decided to learn more about this flower: the early colonists brought dandelions to the New World. They used the whole plant. The flowers made wine, the leaves made salads, the stems and roots dried and used medicinally. According to stories, a dandelion never grows where there are no human inhabitants. The early pioneers found no trace of them in western America. After a few years, up sprang a dandelion head and soon there were millions of them. Native Americans learned to love them and would walk miles to gather them if they could not be found locally.
Today dandelions are used in food and medicines.
The scientific name of the dandelion comes from the Greek word taraxos, which means disorder, and akos, which means remedy. The word dandelion comes from the old French word Dent-de-lion or from the Latin dens leonis, both also meaning lion’s tooth or teeth doe its ragged leaves.
Disorder and remedy? So often life is like that: what at first confuses us, frightens us, and throws us into chaos also leads the healing and transformation. We live a dandelion life, don’t we?
The pesky dandelion still irritates me growing where it shouldn’t and spreading where I don’t want it, but I have learned a new admiration for its ability to thrive no matter what I do.
Like a dandelion, I hope my roots go so deep in God’s earthy heart no poison or violent tugs from the outside world can dislodge my love for Him.
God created the dandelion and its lessons of joy and love spread throughout the garden of my heart.
What does the dandelion teach you?
I adore dandelions — little drops of sunshine. Hardly ever get see one anymore.
Very interesting article. Loved the concept of digging our roots deep like dandelions 🙂 With a passel of grandkids, we actually like dandelions – both the yellow blooms and the white – get-to-blow-them blooms 🙂 Tho they were a bit frustrating all popping up 2 days AFTER the lawn just got mowed. 🙂 Guess that comes under the heading – praise God for ALL things and follow their example. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Jean Wise says
Thank you for all the nice comments. I learned much from my visit with the lowly dandelion and glad you ll learned too.
KINDRED HEART WRITERS says
I’m not familiar with “tweet me Tuesday” but I think your approach to dandelions is so neat. The quote from Pooh corner is just right. Sometimes we need to be reminded don’t we. thanks Clella
So great to talk to you today! ;0) It’s always such a nice pick-me-up. So is your writing! I always feel refreshed when I come here. Like what you said about persistence … I need to hear that message alot right now. Not getting discouraged by current circumstances. A victory may lie right around the corner!
Tweeting this as part of Tweet Me Tuesday! ;0)
Wow! I never really was too bothered by dandelions…but this is a refreshing look…both at the past, present, and future! I never knew some of the things people used to do with dandelions! Takes a great mind to look at dandelions in such a way!!
Coming by as part of Tweet Me Tuesday! Thanks so much for linking up! Tweeting it out in just a second!!
Oh, Jeanie. You always teach me so much. The disorder and remedy idea is thought provoking. Good article, there? Thanks, I’ll look at the ones in my yard differently, too.