Have you ever looked at something a million times and never seen it? Maybe it sounds crazy but that’s what happened to me as I stood in the middle of a field covered in dandelions. These were weeds I had seen all my life, but suddenly I was caught off guard by the beauty of the bright yellow blossoms surrounding me!
I had always heard and believed they were nothing more than a nuisance or an eyesore, and completely undesirable. But not today, today I saw them differently! Today I actually saw them. I mean I really saw them. As I bent down to inspect the weeds, I noticed these bright yellow flowers were really incredible! Each one had hundreds of tiny petals! Their leaves were long, serrated, green blades. Their bodies golden like a lion and the sharp edges of the leaves like the lion’s teeth. In fact, that’s how they got their name!
Then I noticed that not all were bright and yellow, some were white and feathery. If I didn’t know better I would have thought they were two different plants, but they weren’t! (I’m pretty sure there’s another story hidden in here about how the yellow flower represents the quickly fading beauty of youth and we are left with white hair that falls out easily! Ha-ha!) I began to wonder, “When and how do they become the puffballs we enjoy blowing when we’re children?”
So here’s what I found out: The yellow blossom only lasts up to three days before it closes up. During the next 6-20 days, depending on the season, they will produce their seeds. At the end of this phase they will reopen a second time looking completely different! This time they are white, furry globes that are perfectly round, soft, and fragile! Puffballs ready to blow! Amazing! Once they are blown by the wind (or a child), their seeds are released and they reproduce into replicas of the original! One single dandelion potentially produces more than 2,000 seeds in their 5-10 year lifespan!
At one time these weeds were seen as quite desirable! The Europeans who settled in North America brought these flowers with them to remind them of home. They used them as ornamental plantings and as roof coverings on their houses.
For centuries, people used the dandelion for medicinal purposes—a liver tonic, removal of warts, to help an upset stomach, relieve intestinal gas, joint, or muscle pain, treat eczema, increase urine output, a laxative to increase bowel movements, and for soothing calluses, bee stings, and sores.
They have been used to produce yellow and green dyes, and their white milky sap used as mosquito repellent. They are rich in vitamins and can be eaten in salads, made into wine, or used as a coffee substitute! Is there anything this plant can’t do?! I had no idea! Did you?
With new eyes and new insight I knew I would never look at a dandelion the same way again! They are not exactly what I’ve been told and realizing that has freed me to enjoy them!
I wonder now what would happen if I began looking, and really seeing, the people around me. Maybe the people I’ve been told were wicked, ugly, wrong, or dangerous really aren’t. Maybe instead, they are beautiful, valuable, and interesting! Maybe they’re a reminder of home, created in the image of their Father who says, in fact, that they are very good!
Maybe like the dandelions that open each morning in the warmth of the sunlight we need to offer each other the warmth of our love because that is when we will open up, blossoming into our full beauty.
(Sources: Drweil.com; Hunker.com source;Webmd.com; Naturenorth.com; Fremonttribune.com;Ipm.ucanr.com; Encyclopedia.com)