Wednesday, June 2, 2010


A few weeks ago, when spring was "springing", my daughter and I were driving on a road, we drive on everyday. There is an expansive field, and the Elementary School is in the distance. The Junior High is to the left, and the Middle School is far in the distance. All of these schools are on this green field. In the backround is the mountains, and the Deleware Water Gap. It is very pretty. Pretty because of the backdrop far in the distance. At least that is what I notice. That particular day, my daughter Charlotte was overwhelmed with surprise, and delight, when on the fields that the schools are on, dandelions dotted the field like confetti. Yellow dots everywhere. Thousands upon thousands of them. Charlotte squealed in delight. "Look at all of the beautiful flowers, Mommy!!!"  She kept telling me how pretty all of the dandelions were. In that moment, I really looked at the dandelions and thought, she is right. They were beautiful. The stunning contrast of yellow, upon the deep green grass, the sheer amount of them, they were, just beautiful.
I grew up thinking dandelions were the most hated flower to grow upon one's lawn. A weed. A nuisance. But here before me, was a field covered in them, and instead of thinking the lawn was ruined by these intruders, I thought that they almost resembled an impressionist painting. I too could see the absolute beauty in a field of dandelions, thanks to the fresh, unadultered, eye of my little one.
The dandelion also represents something magical to Charlotte, and probably, most kids. When the flower is all gone, and the puffy, white seeds are left, barely clinging to the stem, and ready to take flight, these are wishes. Wishes to be carried on the wind, to some mysterious place, that will be granted to the soul who gently blew them skyward. My little Charlotte finds all of these spent dandelions, and blows and blows, until barely any air is even coming out of her little lips. The first few times she started doing this, I discouraged it. My allergies were bothering me, and I did not want all that fluff on me, or the baby. Charlotte seemed so disappointed. I realized that I was going to be the one to gradually make her belief in magic, and all things childlike, and mysterious, and wondrous, begin to fade, and possibly, begin to shape the adult thinking that discourages all things magical, and might even make her, gulp, cynical. 
I let her blow dandelions now. Every one she sees. She thought that  the field was so beautiful, she wanted to have a picnic on it. When I told David where we were going to have our picnic, as we packed up the car, he suggested instead a place by a waterfall we go to a lot. He even said that there were some other parks he thought that were a little more scenic. I said that the field by the school, on the side of the road was the place. That was the picnic area that Charlotte wanted to go to. And we did. And it was lovely, sitting among the dandelions. Just beautiful. A field that I drive past everday, and never notice the foreground, just the backdrop, and I could see what my Charlotte saw. A field of beautiful dandelions. A field of wishes. A field of possibilities. 
Thank you Charlotte, for pointing out beauty, and magic, that is right under my nose. Today, I will stop and smell the dandelions. I will see the possibilities.

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