April 30, 2011


I have always like dandelions. Yes, I know my neighbors probably wish that I would zap them away with some sort of weed killer, but I like keeping at least some of them around. I think this bright yellow weed has been a bit maligned by those who would keep their lawns immaculate. First off, they are edible. The leaves, although bitter, can be cooked or used in a salad. The flowers too can be cooked or made into wine. Granted, I have never tried eating any dandelions, but who knows, I may get brave one day and try it.

The lowly dandelion is also a favorite flower of children. What child has not gathered a bunch of these bright yellow flowers and presented them to their mothers with great joy? To children, they are the most beautiful flowers in all the world. And what mother has not gratefully accepted such a gift and placed them in a vase  in the center of the table, as if they were the finest roses?

I find, however, that the greatest pleasure of the dandelion comes when the flowers finish blooming and the seed pods appear as delicate poofs of white just waiting for the wind to carry them off to distant places (or the neighbor's lawn). Who hasn't picked one and helped the seeds on their way by blowing on them with delight and watching them dance on the breeze seeking their resting place.  It is an innocent pleasure often accompanied by a feeling of joy and wonder at God's marvelous creations. 

The dandelion is also a tenacious plant. It often grows where no other plant will, sometimes pushing its way up through cracks in pavement or in the poorest soil.  We as Christians can learn a lesson from the dandelion.  We too are often misunderstood, persecuted, and in some areas of the world, eradicated.  Yet we endure and go on.  We have the witness of the martyrs and brave missionaries to encourage us in spreading the Word of God and doing His will. We are beautiful in God's eyes. When, in humility and innocence we present ourselves to the Lord, He delights in us, and in His great Mercy and Love, gives us an honored place at His Banquet Table.

God also asks us to spread the Good News of salvation to all the world. Just as the seed pods of the dandelion are carried on the wind all over the neighborhood, we are called to carry God's Word.  It is the Breath of God, His Holy Spirit, that blows on us and sends us on our journey on the winds of life, to do God's will and to show God's Love.

So the next time you think about zapping that dandelion popping up on your nicely manicured lawn, take some time to meditate on what it can teach us.  And if you do decide to pull it up...well, make some wine!

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