About the Dandelions

 

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I’ve always loved dandelions. After a cold, gray Chicago winter, some of the first color on the spring landscape arrived in bright dandelions. As much as the first spring sighting of a robin, the first dandelion in spring was a sign that the season had changed. Those yellow blossoms were lucky. Unlike other flowers, they didn’t follow the sun. The sun followed them, growing stronger and warmer after dandelions started to dot the landscape.

“Beautiful as a dandelion-blossom golden in the green grass, this life can be.”
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Not only a source of cheerful color, dandelions are also a food source. But there’s a trick to eating dandelion greens. On their own, they’re bitter. But paired with the right ingredient — a smooth oil or a creamy cheese — the greens lose their sharp edge. Isn’t that the way with people, too? When we’re isolated, we might become a little unpalatable. But with the right partner, we can be transformed into something delightful.

“Had she never been hungry enough to eat a flower?”
~ Adam Johnson

There’s an old saying that life is better when we learn to love the dandelions. That’s a nod to the way these plants can thrive almost anywhere, even in the slimmest cracks in the pavement, as long as they can grow a strong root. There’s no point fighting them. They’re really tenacious. Try to mow them down, and they find a way to bloom again. And then the most amazing thing happens to those blooms.

“Most of the dandelions had changed from suns into moons.”
~Vladimir Nabokov

This is the best thing about dandelions, really. Hope. We make our wishes and blow on the fluff, and the seeds scatter. Our hope and a deep breath carries the seeds to new places, where new life can thrive. If we blow all the seeds away, our wish will come true. We want our wishes to take root with the strength of a dandelion. We hope for that golden new life.

“Last summer I spent almost an hour blowing dandelions off their stems towards him, so that he had a chance to wish for everything he wanted.”
~ Helen Oyeyemi

So when my graphic designer and I were discussing some options for graphics, and the concept of dandelion fluff came up, I knew it was exactly right. It’s a beautiful superstition tied to a sign of spring for a strong plant that’s better in a couple. Perfect, really.

 

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