Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live life with a Franciscan focus.

28 January 2013

Dandelions 

Vintage dandelion illustration by Elizabeth BlackwellA few days back when I read a pal's post in Google+ in which he shared a pic of some freaky-arsed lovely flowers, it made me think about flowers in general, and then I thought about how dandelions are -- and always have been -- my faves.

Oh, sure, roses are unquestionably awesome, with the doubleplus cool aspect of being closely associated with our Blessed Mother. Same deal with lilies, and their association with her Holy Husband, Joseph (yes, I know they're also associated with her).

Daisies are indefatigably chipper lil' things … and who can be crabby when looking at the "Heeeeey, sun! Wassuuup?" sunflowers? (Bonus: Seeds.)

But even with all that, dandelions top 'em all for me.

… Before we go any further, let's get one thing straight -- they're NOT weeds. First one to toss out that insipid whine gets their buttocks introduced to mah foot (as illustrated thusly). If that's your opinion, you're a joyless buzzkill who'd best move along right now.

::ahem::

You can eat every single part of a dandelion. You can make wine and tea and jams from it. Researchers are investigating whether or not it could treat cancer. Dandelions leave whimsical yellow smudges on your nose when you sniff their petals. When turned to seed, you can blow on the seeds and make wishes. When all the seeds have blown away, the tops turn into perfect microphones for impromptu outdoor karaoke. And its Genus name -- Taraxacum -- is so incredibly badassed that I'm surprised a band hasn't appropriated it yet for a moniker. ("Everyone, give it up for -- Taraxacum!")

Dandelions are approachable -- no deathwish thorns will impale you should you decide to roll around in a field full of dandelions. And nobody hollers at and shoos away lil' kids from happily picking 'em. (Yeah, just try letting your toddler loose on Missus Fussypants' prizewinning Candelabra roses without a serious bloodletting.) You can pick great scads of dandelions right quick and friendly up your digs with 'em, even though they'll quickly wilt soon after.

But, more than anything, dandelions are scrappy lil' survivors who don't need oodles of coddling (I'm lookin' at you, orchids) or special trellises, or drifts of precisely-mixed dirt-and-fertilizer, or a platoon of anxiously-hovering gardeners catering to their every need.

No, dandelions are all like, "Dude! Check it out -- a sidewalk crack in the shade with heavy foot traffic! I can totally work with that!" And they do. And no matter how much folks wage war against their relentlessly cheerful presence, the dandelions always fight back. They take it on the chin (if they had chins), carry on, move on, make do, and give each other lil' high-fives from their homes in the cracked concrete of abandoned playgrounds.

So, yeah. Dandelions.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

My favorite part of dandelions was always making dandelion "silk". After wish blowing, you slit the stalk with a nail, and then flatten it out and voila! Silk! Funny though... I can't remember what we did with the silk....

29 January, 2013 13:03  
Blogger A Secular Franciscan said...

Speaking as a self-described slug, I am a fan of dandelions!

08 February, 2013 18:48  
Anonymous Chris W said...

Your blog has been nominated for a Liebster award by The Weitzel Family at http://www.lifeonfire.org. (Seriously, this is not a scam/spam comment, we promise). See the details here:
http://www.lifeonfire.org/2013/03/the-liebster-award-helping-blog-communities-to-grow-and-thrive/

20 March, 2013 11:34  
Blogger Ambrose Little said...

I'll second Chris' nomination! http://romishpotpourri.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-liebster-award-helping-blog.html Congrats! ;)

Does this mean you have to answer both our questions????

21 March, 2013 22:54  
Blogger Lisa, ofs said...

Chris & Ambrose: Aww, c'mon, you guys! Now I have to respond to your questions? And post stuffs here?

That requires thinking! And posting! :-P

Hroom, hroom. Lemme do some ponderin' ...

Also, thankee for the shout-outs. :-) Mwah! :-*

25 March, 2013 16:18  

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