I spoke with a fellow recently and he told me a story that I found to be helpful. I decided to share it here. He said that there’s a person who calls him on the phone and they both go outdoors and take a walk “together.” In actuality they don’t even live in the same towns, but they are making a habit of going on walks and talking about what they see along their ways. As they were taking turns describing their surroundings, one of the walkers named a few varieties of flowers they saw. They mentioned how the abundance of dandelions made them know that warmer weather was coming. The fellow in response said that all he saw where he was walking was a dumpster.
His walking buddy challenged him to look more closely. His walking buddy couldn’t see what he was seeing, but they somehow knew there was more to see if he’d slow down and look a little closer. So they challenged him to stop for a moment and look more closely at the dumpster. And sure enough, on the ground where the dumpster sat was a small patch of sunny yellow dandelions. They quietly lit up their little corner of the world. But some people – maybe most people – wouldn’t take the time to notice their brilliant color and jagged edged leaves.
As my friend told me about the “aha moment” when he eventually noticed the dandelions, I am very certain that I could hear the smile on his face. Having his awareness changed by a caring friend while they walked in different zip codes,changed his day.
1. Connection matters
Some of us need the compassionate accountability of a person who will take a journey with us.
2. Outlook matters
Something boring, routine, or even unattractive, can hold unseen and surprising value.
3. Intention matters
Let’s try to expect and notice more beautiful things. They’re there.
4. Don’t judge
Dandelions won’t be just some “ugly weeds” once you know their super-powers. (I think lots of people have unappreciated super-powers too.)
Fun fact: The name ‘dandelion’ is a corruption of the French “dents de lion” or teeth of the lion, referring to the saw-toothed leaves of some varieties.
Dandelions are used in lots of ways because they contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and minerals that may support and protect cells, soothe skin irritations and nourish dry skin. Lots of folks find them tasty, too! There’s dandelion tea, dandelion wine, dandelion greens, packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients. Maybe dandelions are a self-seeding food crop you’ve been overlooking. Some people love them battered and friend, while others toss them into a salad (flowers and greens.)
And if the culinary and health benefits of taraxacum erythrospermum aren’t enough for you, do you remember what we did with dandelions when we were kids? Yes, that’s right. I think at one time or another most of us have picked a dried dandelion, taken a deep breath, and made a wish before we blew all of the seeds into the sky. One of my friend’s children calls dried dandelion blossoms “wishberries.”