Zensights provides a space for gentle contemplation in a world filled with hectic action and stressed-out situations.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


There is no denying that Americans are involved in a multimillion dollar campaign toward the annihilation of weeds--crabgrass, dollar weeds, nut grass and deer grass. My personal favorite is the ever popular dandelion. I cannot deny that a yard filled with the tiny, yellow blossoms fills me with some kind of unearthly delight.

I came around the corner on a walk one June evening and what should I behold but a vacant house’s yard teeming with dandelion blossoms. Happily they bobbed in the evening breeze and caught the sunset’s glow quite magically. It took my breath away, the way it would have done me as a child. If I hadn’t been in my early fifties, I might have run laughing into the midst of the flowers and gathered them up in a childlike bouquet. If I hadn’t been busy with thoughts of sinus woes and hay fever bouts, I’d have breathed in the musty odor of the happy pedals and moved into a distant memory place. I’d be dressed in corduroy overalls and running amok through joyous fields finding flowers to take home and place in empty mayonnaise jars that my mother kept stored in a pantry for my bug menageries and hand picked gifts.

Oh, the garlands that could be made from these precious weeds? I have made countless, saffron-colored crowns, necklaces and bracelets to enhance my little girl’s appearance. Of course, I was careful not to taste the bitter, milky sap that could coat the fingers, unlike the sweet taste of honeysuckle blossoms we would often purposely taste each June. And sometimes I had to intersperse clover blossoms in between when the dandelion season was drawing to a close.

I was also any number of fairy queens in my imaginary heyday. Once I was Guinevere holding forth over all the court with a wave of my weed-draped hand. Another time I was Pocahontas, flower covered and ready for my “brave” to carry me off into the sunset. My bicycle steed was often strewn with blankets of yellow, a poor imitation of the black-eyed Susan blanket Belmont Stakes winners receive. We rode many miles together.

The best part, though, was the wishing--remember? When the time was right, the blossoms turned to fuzzy, gray seed balls. I would snatch the stem of the flower up to the lips and blow with heavy breath, all the while wondering where the little germ of life would be carried on the wind—maybe even going as far as little girl dreams could travel.
“Make a wish,” I had been told by someone older than I, and I wished. I wished with all my heart. I wished for a real pony and a baby sister and all the ice cream I could stand to eat whenever I wanted, even if it meant spoiling my appetite. I wished for other things I can’t really remember, but I feel very certain that with the exception of the pony and a baby brother before I got that sister, my wishes have, for the most part, come true.

Of course, the actual reality of that seed journey was the germination of many more weeds in neighbors’ yards. I can just imagine the really foul words from homeowners when their pristine lawns would produce scraggily offspring. As a child I had no idea this is what my desire for good fortune could do. Only as a teenager and a biology student did I come to understand.

Even so, I try to remember form “whence cometh the weed” as I pluck unwanted pesky plants from my lawn and spray like the rest of my neighbors. Each handful of weed makes me try to imagine a little girl somewhere, yellow garlands in her hair making a good future for herself. Then I try not to mind the weeds.


Blogger Lovelace Cook said...

Hi Dottie,

What a wonderful dandelion day! I've always referred to them as yard flowers...so many nice colors in all those "weeds". Clover crowns and dandelion dreams to you.

Gypsy Queen Cab

3:54 PM  
Blogger Ron Kattawar said...

Thank you for taking me on your journey. What a ride!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Pammyjo said...


You put me right back in my fields of dandelion childhood. And honeysuckle evenings found us kids tired from our dream journeys. Womderful essay.

Cold Morning Memories

5:49 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Hey Dottie
Thought about you while in Alaska- Haines, in particular, had absolute fields of dandelions in bloom, beside the streets in town and all along the roadways, even yards, in some places. They grow taller and fuller blooms there -EVERYTHING grows bigger there, thanks to the long summer days. Sue & I especially loved seeing the dandelions left to thrive and beautify.

12:02 PM  

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