Don’t ask my granddaughter, Lizzie this question – or any other small child – because the answer will be that they are beautiful fuzzy flowers that leave a little bit of yellow dust under your chin when you are tickled with them. And the best part of dandelions? They turn into little balls of fairies who can, with one small puff, be sent flying to the heavens!
Weeds? Never! Dandelions are made of children’s dreams, laughter and love. If dandelions would stay in the flower bed in which they were planted, we probably would grow them on purpose – just so our children would be happy. But like our children, dandelions never stay where they are planted – they test our patience by doing the very things we don’t want them to do. They go places they shouldn’t, they hang out with other “weeds” that are not good for them and they irritate the neighbors. And just like dandelions, our children grow up and one day with a great gust of wind, they take off for their own adventures in the world.
Maybe that’s why dandelions have a special place in every person’s heart – we may not like them in our lawn but we all remember what it was like to have our chin turned yellow by a little tickle from one. We remember laying in the grass trying to make the puffballs blow off into the wind and wondering about the beautiful places they would go. It was a time of innocence and of dreams – and all of us have taken the time to show our children and grandchildren the wonders of the dandelion.
Are dandelions really a weed? If we really thought so, would we be sending the dandelion fairies on their way to start a new adventure in someone else’s yard?