I have had a house with a yard.
And in that yard was the green grass.
And in that green grass were the dandelions.
Those noxious weeds that seemed to take over the lawn.
I would dig them out and apply weed killer to them.
I used home remedies and store bought chemicals.
I cringed when I saw them emerging.
I made sure to mow my lawn frequently so they never had a chance to sprout their "flower".
And if someone happened to get a hold of those little puffy seed heads blow them about...
well, I can't even describe the anxiety I felt over that.
Then one day, when my children were quite small -
my daughter brought me a bouquet of bright yellow dandelions.
I smiled and thanked her and held on to them while I tried to decide how to secretly dispose of them.
She got a very concerned look on her face and told me to put them in water so they wouldn't die.
(Heavy sigh from me) and then with a smile I said OK.
I got out a drinking glass..
"No", she said..."Use a pretty vase".
I had some antique cut glass bud vases and I pulled one of them out of the cupboard.
I filled it with water, immersed the dandelions and set it on the window sill.
"No", she said...."Put them on the table".
On the table?
What would people think if I had weeds on my table???
I put them on my table.
Later, I was sitting at the table all alone.
The kids were probably napping or something because it was one of those rare quiet moments.
I looked at the dandelions.
I mean - I REALLY looked at the dandelions.
And I was caught off guard.
I had seen these little yellow weeds many times before,
but I had never really studied them.
And they were beautiful.
Really and truly beautiful...
Hundreds of perfectly formed petals layered one upon the other.
Straight edges and slightly fringed ends.
Even the leaves were special -
so much more interesting than many other leaves on flowers.
And then there are those magical seed heads.
Puffy clouds of white.
So fragile, yet so strong...
I thought about other flowers that are valued -
roses, carnations, daisies ...
Those are all beautiful, but the intricies of the dandelion was so special and unusual - and in many ways surpassed the rose.
Yet - it took me all of my life (up to that point) to see the beauty in them.
Life lesson here.
How many other things was I taking for granted?
How many other works of intricate beauty was I missing because I had been told it wasn't beautiful or special?
Now I am not an expert in this area.
I do not in any way claim to be perfect in appreciating the small details in my day.
In fact, many days - the details irritate the crap out of me. (Just being honest here...)
But I am trying ...
I try to remind myself to slow down and appreciate the wonders that are all around me.
I try to see things through the eyes of a young child.
Have you ever gone on a walk with a 3-year old?
Then you know what I mean -
I want to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise and sunset -
even if I just saw one yesterday.
I never want to get tired of the amazement I feel when I watch a hummingbird.
I want to stop and examine the intricacies of a spider web with morning dew still clinging to it.
And I want to appreciate the beauty of the dandelion...
I want to be a participant in the magic of the world around me.
And just as a sidenote -
If my 3-year old grandson brings me a bouquet of dandelions,
they will be placed in the prettiest vase I can find and
proudly displayed on my table.