It caught my eye, these weeds. These small insidious insect-laden crawlers of the cracks, these sowers of seeds. Despised are these dandelions! People toil long and hard to rid their glorified verdant carpets of these pesky vermin that foul them with dingy yellow globes and unkempt whiskers of seeds.
Then I wondered…why? Why are they given such a label? What makes them a weed and others a flower? This one question was about to change the way I thought. It was about to severe a long held belief and transform my way of seeing, and thinking about more than just this. I was very happy with all the labels I was given up to this point. I was settled into where I was in my life, because it was solid, accepted, and secure in everyone else’s eyes. That was about to change.
Why was it called a weed and why were so many people trying to rid them from their yards, from their sight it seemed? Even if your neighbour had them, you were wary, and maybe even asked your neighbour to ‘do something’ about them, lest they settle one day in your yard.
Perhaps it is the brightness of the hue? Could you mistake the iridescent yellow of a dandelion for any other? Does it not pop out from the surrounding to be noticed? I think the dandelions may actually warm the earth simply by the tonal colour they shed, and you may think as much if you got close enough with your cheek.
Is it the shape? Is in some way considered deformed? Is it not a reflection of Nature’s perfect circular pattern? The circle is after all considered the shape from which all others are formed.
A flower, it seems, has to be seen as dazzlingly different, has to show off unlimited colour schemes and varieties of petal shapes and sizes to lure the bees and birds that ensure its own propagation. Nature’s own form of advertising for sex. This wise one had no need to lure insects to it to propagate, but instead made use of nature’s own energy and loosed beautiful cascades of unlikely umbrellas when the wind speaks to it. Is it not a heavenly match to ensure succeeding generations with a whisper of wind instead of the touch of any other? Perhaps it should have a more virtuous name?
If that is the requirement to be labelled a flower, then I would not want it called as such. It should be something greater.
Hail to thee oh dandelion, that you persevere where others die, that you cling to cracks and joints stubbornly, and offer sustenance to bumbling buzzing bees, though they offer nothing to you, and you glow of warm sunlight to all that gather close. You can even foresee if a child likes butter by the glow under their chin, I’m told! When your days are done, and you have given almost all, you transform into a wish machine, and allow many people, old and young alike, to whisper: wonderful thoughts, prayers, and deeds, that the world becomes a better place for that instance, and hope springs from one giant blow. I have love for you oh cursed one. I lament upon the dandelion and its ill begotten label.
Dandelion you deserve more. If we harken back to you’re your name, and what it meant when you were named such, they called you ‘dens leonis’: the lion’s tooth. The lion among it’s kin, King of all, it fights for it’s life ferociously, and deserves this grand namesake. No longer are you a weed, to me, but you are the King of flowers, the Sovereign of sidewalks, and purveyor of wishes. You are a reminder that closed minds can foul the most beautiful objects before they are even seen. I long to see you now. You will remind me of the nature of people, strong, resilient, steadfast, and able to achieve all they desire, all they wish upon themselves. We are dandelions, and to curse you is to doom ourselves. May we always look upon another with such an open mind as to erase all sense of judgement, evaluation, comparison, and mistrust, and take in all the mind can sense.
It took some time for this to truly sink in, and it was as if the constant wave action of my thoughts dissolved the barrier that held my beliefs in place, and new insights started to flood my mind. This applies to more than just dandelions. There is more to this instance than just the label of a plant. What of ideas? Are they not spread on our breath, ready to seed in willing minds? What is the power of a label that it determines the outcome of any idea, good or bad? Is it your judgement of my idea that digs it out from other people’s minds to make them conform?
What of other things we label as ‘weeds’ of society? Are they the homeless, the addicted, the abused, the shaded skinned, the old, the un-useful, the different.
How you understand me is through communicating, and the most common form of communicating is through language. This gives unbridled power to the words that we choose to use to describe something, but there is a price and a limit. There is a price to pay for labelling, which groups, refines, shakes out and stereotypes much in the world to the particular perspective not of the labeller, but of the seer. What you label this, may be seen as that, to me.
There is also a limit to what words can say. How many words does it take to describe your love? How many to describe your child? A perfect image? Who you are?
So, I handle words with care and caution, and allow my eyes the opportunity to see what is there, without my mind’s sticky labels and my own past judgement to cloud what is right in front of me. I see now that the dandelion is everything and everyone. I am someone’s dandelion, and so are you. We are all labelled by others for a particular outcome; maligned and murdered, with perfect intent, and that is something worthy of reminding ourselves every time we see a lion’s tooth silently roaring for survival along the cracks and crevices of our land and mindscape.