Those pesky Dandelions !!

What is the flower that reminds you of your childhood???

For me it is has to be the good old fashioned dandelion.

I have fond memories of running through fields, walking down lanes, and enjoying time with my granny and grandpa usually with a dandelion in my hand and the seeds scattering into the air as I ran around frolicking in the warmth of the summer sun…..

those days were good days…

My Grandpa’s lawn was a truly wonderful specimen of a lawn and was a beautiful deep green velvet colour …it was beyond ridiculously perfect ….. cut to an inch of its life and all the edges trimmed into beautiful shapes …it was really impressive even to me as a small child ….

but guess what …..there was not a dandelion insight…

The dandelion is the first sign of spring and it’s nectar is collected gratefully by the early bumbling bees…

It is a lifeline in the coldest spring days, yet we are busy buying up lawn feed and weed killer just in time to see the yellow heads pop up amongst the grass….

As an adult to see a dandelion pop-up in my lawn fills me with fear as I think about the amount of dandelions that could possibly rear their bright yellow heads over the coming months as the seeds scatter …..

But regardless as to that fear of the dandelion take over I do have a rather large soft spot for this flower…

I remember playing on our local common shoving the dandelion under my friends chins to see if their chins glowed yellow….. hugely disappointed to discover that only the buttercup could do this ….I would then spend the night worrying about wetting the bed as my friends jibed me about the dreaded myth of the dandelion !!!

I remember making a beautiful crown from a load of daisies….. and I had a clever idea….

mine would be a little different because I would put dandelions in it….

I was a little disappointed to discover on arriving home and presenting myself to my mum in a “ta-da” moment, her bemused and unimpressed look …

I took to the mirror to see that my beautiful crown had wilting, half dead looking, sorry for themselves dandelions stuck in my hair…

The ring of daisies hung broken… half missing and to be honest not looking at all how I had imagined it when I was deep in my imaginary world of fairies and all things magical on that local common…. I arrived home and mum said I was deemed fit for a bath and so that’s where my crown ended its life ….floating in the bubbles …a new world to explore in my imagination….

The two most favourite things I loved doing with the dandelion was telling the time and making a wish….

Such joy, pleasure and fun was brought to me through the simplicity of the dandelion…

I think a dandelion is a great representation of the struggles drama and successes of our own lives…..

bare with me as I tell you my thoughts ….

A dandelion is so robust …. Its life on the lawn once a week brings trauma as it gets cutback with the good old lawn mower chugging away …all that pushing through that the dandelion had achieved since the previous lawn cutting ceremony, ruined in a moment….but strong enough to fight back ….

The Sunday football match…the ball…the studs …a large churned up area of grass …

the dandelion again taking a battering…

But its roots standing firm …..its flower always cheerful and its seeds a beauty for all to see….

Let me share a story with you…

Once there was a dandelion who wanted to see the world.

It may seem strange to you that a dandelion should have such notions but consider her situation.

A small circle of leaves in the middle of a large lawn, all she had ever seen was the dirt beneath her, grass all-around her and the patch of sky above her.

This didn’t satisfy her though.

She didn’t know what else there was to see but she was sure there must be something.

And she was determined that sooner or later she would discover it for herself.

But every week as I said before something terrible happened……..

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……..

Those were the sounds that filled her with awful fear ….

For a while the noise would keep its distance then it would come close and very loud…

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….

Then it would move off again. But always at last it would happen.

A shadow would suddenly come over her, descending on her and in one fail swoop it was done …

There would be a whirring and a smashing and a mangling in the midst of the incredibly loud noise.

Seconds later when it was over her leaves were gone, she was naked, she had been chopped back to the level of the ground.

It was a dreadful experience for her ….

For Two days afterwards the dandelion would be in A state of shock then when she began to get her wits about her she would say to herself…

“why do I bother “?

That said she would take courage and begin all over again…

she would send up young leaves and try again…it had to be worth it ….

One week the horrible noise didn’t start-up her leaves were allowed to grow higher than they had ever grown before..

The reason for that though the dandelion did not know….

you see the family had gone off on their summer holiday….. all she knew was that this time no dreadful shadow descended on her to chop and crush and mangle her reducing her back to the soil.

She had a chance and believed she could so she did …

I reckon we all know how that feels ….

She pushed her leaves higher with excitement and she began to see things she had never seen before…. she saw the plants growing beside the blades of grass …

she saw flowers in so many beautiful colours she believed she could be in heaven …

she saw shapes that we would recognise as sheds and fences and houses…

It was all very exciting even if a little bit hard to understand.

With great bearing she then began to do something she had never done before, something she had only just realised she could do…

she sent up a stem with a bud on the end of it…

“Goodness” She thought

what is this ??…. Am I going to have a flower ??…. I wonder what colour it will be??

When her flower opened she found that she was a beautiful golden yellow colour …cheerful like the sunshine and she was so very pleased…

By now she could see all sorts of things and she just wished she could uproot herself and explore them all more closely….

The fence, the house, flowers, even moving things- butterflies and birds, cars passing beyond the fence a dog…

It was all very strange and a bit confusing but it was also incredibly wonderful…

After a while her petals began to dry up, shrivel and fall away Dandelion didn’t mind that because she suddenly realised there was something else she could do…

something else she could become…

Soon on the end of the stem where the flower had been there was a marvellous round white fluffy ball…

She had just managed to turn to seed just as the the family came back from holiday.

“Goodness “ father said as he stopped the car in the driveway. “The very first thing I must do is put the mower over the lawn.”

Accept one of the children had already spotted the dandelion and ran to it plucking it from the soil ….

Dandelion was lifted high into the air in a whirl….…. she was lifted Higher than she ever thought it possible to go ….

The child blew ….and dandelion’s downy seeds danced away on the little girl’s breath….

The dandelion went higher still spiralling up on the soft summer winds …

she was free at last ….

Free to travel in 100 different directions ….

She was off to see the world …

She was off to live her life in as many ways as she believed she could ….

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