While I was mowing, I couldn’t help but reflect on the success of dandelions in my yard. I mean, they’re EVERYWHERE! A few weeks ago, they were bright yellow punctuation marks to the lush green of our nothing-fancy lawn. Babs would point to them and sniff her “flower” sign, and we rediscovered the joy of bright yellow dandelions. We would pick her one, and she would consider it and then carry it around with nothing less than pure and utter joy. She would point to another one, and another one, and another.
I wonder now if she might have already thought of what struck me as I mowed them last week. You see, last week they were transformed into puffy white bombs, which hold as much allure to her as the bright yellow flowers. When I mowed the inch-tall grass and the five-inch-tall dandelion stand, the air was awhirl with dandelion puff. The little girl inside me was twirling around and just enjoying the moment. The critical gardener wannabe, though, was choking and getting grumbly. Those seeds were headed EVERYWHERE! Mowing was not helping matters (nor was my enthusiastic toddler, who marched to every single one of those puff bombs and helped them spread their weedy selves to the far reaches of the yard).
We need to be more like dandelions, don’t you think? Dandelions are EVERYWHERE. They aren’t afraid of whether they’ll fit in or how they’ll look. They just go, and do, and try it out. Have you ever noticed how they keep coming back? There’s no Round-Up strong enough, no fierce chemical that will keep them away. No sirree. They are here to stay, and the chemical companies will stay in business in their futile attempt to get rid of them. With all of our technological advances, we still have dandelions, and they’re here to stay, and they’ll keep coming back.
Dandelions have extremely high proliferation. Each of those little puff bombs must have 100s of tiny seedlings—so if only one or two gets to an ideal place to take root, and there are 100 dandelion puff bombs, that’s 100 new dandelions. (Cranky Gardener Voice has started really grumbling now!) What if we stuck to things long enough to have a high proliferation? What if we tried 100 times before something took root? Life is full of failure, and while it may only take us one seedling to take root, we may have to have the patience to find that one seedling.
Patience and persistence seem to be a theme with our friendly dandelions, and I can’t help but feel that I could improve to be more like them in my life.
Copyright 2009 Sarah Reinhard