It is a sad fact, sometimes, that when a thing is common and we see it everywhere, we take it for granted. When there are too many of pretty much anything, we tend to take them for granted and consider them less than first class.
Our overcrowded classrooms are the most extreme example of this that I can think of. It’s easy to look at that classroom and overlook the fact that it is full of individuals each of which is unique and wonderfully made and equally worthy of time and attention. It’s a lot easier just to say that there are too many students in there and that we need to get rid of some of them and keep only the ones that meet our specifications and preferences.
On a less serious note, I’ve never understood why people will pay out the wazoo for lovely nursery-bred flowers to plant and then pay out the wazoo again for someone to kill the lovely golden blossoms that are already growing.
Is it because dandelions are so common, and grow so easily, that we take them for granted and prefer flowers that really aren’t all that much prettier but which are harder to grow, expensive, and a bit less common? If dandelions weren’t sprinkled everywhere, turning plain green lawns into starry universes, common, easy, beloved by children, would they be more popular?
If we examine each individual child flower, we will see that it is wondrously made, unique, adds to the quality of the universe, and is worthy of cultivation and attention.
How could any florist’s creation rival the paper cup with a few short-stemmed dandelions stuffed into it?
How could any expensive centerpiece be more wonderful than a cereal bowl full of floating dandelion blossoms?
Even after “death,” dandelions are awesome. Those white fuzzy “clocks” will tell a child the time, according to the number of breaths it takes to blow all the fuzz away. FAIRIES love to ride on the soft, fluffy achenes, granting wishes right and left. Every child knows – at least the children who are privileged to have dandelions at their fingertips – that if they can blow ALL the achenes off with one breath, the wish will come true.
How sad, to be a child without dandelions on the lawn, to have nothing but plain green landscaping that he can’t even play on because of all the chemicals. . . to have nothing near his home except expensive blossoms he’s forbidden to pick. How sad the house containing children but no paper cups of short-stemmed dandelions all over the table and countertops. My heart breaks over the thought of children living in a house where blowing dandelion clocks is forbidden lest the seeds take root and ruin the “look.” No wishes or fairies dare come near such a domicile. There’s a big difference between a house and a home, and to people like me, who believe firmly in fairies, wishes, and stubby little bouquets in paper cups and cereal bowls, a house has a green, chemically-treated velvety lawn, and a home has grass, sprinkled with tiny golden stars. And, if the children are especially lucky, lots of little purple violets as well.
I believe that dandelions are flowers, in the same way that those expensive hybrid roses are flowers, and every bit as beautiful, especially when they’re thrust in our faces by a grubby little child to be put in a paper cup and placed where everybody can see and admire them.
The medicinal, culinary, and other practical uses of dandelions cannot be denied, either, but that’s a topic for another time.
Dandelions represent summer, and childhood, and the love of a little girl or boy for a parent, and a Dixie cup of stubby dandelions means more to me than anything delivered by a florist’s truck. When I see a lawn sprinkled with dandelions, I see a home peopled by parents who believe a little child’s wishes are more important than a velvety lawn sprayed with chemicals.
Put that paper cup of stubby dandelions on the coffee table between two cereal bowls full of floating violets and dandelion heads and House Beautiful can go blow. I prefer the individual touch when it come to home decor.
I also welcome the fairies. So should you. Heaven knows we all need all the wishes we can get.
What’s that? A lawn full of dandelions and violets would attract too many bees, and you’re afraid of bees?