It is hard not to notice dandelions. They love to pop up and multiply all over the place. No one plants them. Mowed down, they just reappear in greater numbers. Even when the plants are dug up by the roots, any tiny bit of root left will regenerate into these early spring flowers. Spring flowers yes, but they endure even to the winter. Moreover, in the summer and fall they provide children with delightful blowing of their seeds from the frothy head that remains after the yellow has faded.
One child on vacation from a jungle-type environment wrote back to her mother that America had the most beautiful flowers, and the best were the bright sun-like yellow flowers everyone had in their yards! My father would have agreed with the youngster. “Nothing is prettier than a field of dandelions,” he would say when Mom asked his help in digging them out of the front lawn. And Mother would answer, “My yard is not a field. Keep your dandelions in your field, but keep them out of my yard.”
Yesterday, as I left the grocers by a different road, I came upon a rather small triangular plot of ground. In the center of the plot was a small but brilliant red fire plug. The dandelions in that plot of ground were given free access to as much of the land as they wanted and they had really taken over. It was almost as if they were trying to out-do the bright color of the fireplug. It occurred to me that the purpose of that fireplug was two-fold. First, it was to put out a fire, and second to be readily accessible when needed. It was limited in that it human hands needed to activate the power it held. Its usefulness was to be able to be available in an emergency. Perhaps when the weather was extremely hot the street children might be given a wonderful playground of splashing water.
The dandelions, however, seemed to have no purpose except to be bright and beautiful. No purpose! What could be more important to a dandelion than to do exactly what God had destined for it! And we humans were not needed for that. They give glory to God by being, and just try to stop them from doing that. It is almost an impossible task.
Well, what are we? Are we fireplugs, waiting for someone to release the power we have? On the other hand, are we dandelions, doing what God has destined for us, and not relying on someone else to release our hidden powers?
I believe we are dandelions at times, and fireplugs at another. With God’s help, we can strengthen our “dandelion” selves so we do not need to lean too much on others to set the wonders inside us free.
Peace and Strength,
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg