Monday, May 4, 2009
Dandelions still exist as a species because children love them. Each year at this time, Ellis gives me dandelion after dandelion pulled from the yard. They are flowers for his best girl. Meanwhile, the grownups in our house rip them out by the roots with a sharp screwdriver-like implement. It is our duty to our neighbors, I suppose, to keep our lawn free of these sunny yellow flowers that morph into the distinctive and efficient white feathery seed spreaders.
When did I stop loving them and start feeling a sense of shame at having them around? I used to pull them out after they had gone to seed and make wishes on them. Now I take pleasure in the sharp pop of effectively chopping one off at its roots. There are adult pleasures and childish pleasures, I suppose. Children delight in the magic of what is. Grown-ups delight in being able to shape things into how they should be. Is a wish sent off onto the wind any more or less an illusion of control than the belief in a dandelion free front yard?