I went for a walk in the field one morning. I stopped and looked around me, the field was filled with Dandelions. As I admired their beauty, I was flooded with memories. Some were as a child and how my friends and I adored Dandelions. We would delight in them and play games with them. Yes, we would say, “Momma had a baby and her head popped off” and pop the heads off of the Dandelions. But, I really don’t think they cared. I think they were happy that we children loved them and played with them. We would make Dandelion crowns and rub our bodies with the blossoms to turn our skin yellow. Of course, our favorite was blowing the seed heads. Then, another memory came, this was as an adult. My sons and I were going on a walk with our neighbor and her son. Right away, she commented that my yard was full of Dandelions. My immediate reaction was to respond by saying, “I know, isn’t it beautiful?” Then I realized that this was not meant as a compliment, but a complaint. I was surprised because her garden beds and walkway were filled with “weeds” and her very large yard contained materials from the many unfinished projects that her husband started: piles of sand, bags of cement, wood scraps, slate tiles, etc. As I looked back on this day, I again was surprised and was curious why she had such a strong reaction to the Dandelions.
This then led to all the other conversations that I’ve had with people who wanted to spray their lawns with poisons to eradicate the Dandelion. I again got curious. I find it so interesting that this incredibly healing Plant brings so much fear and hatred out in people. Don’t get me wrong, I know that many people love Dandelion. That is why she grows in the US. The story that I have been told is that the Italians brought her here with them because they couldn’t imagine living without her. She has sustained many during the late winter/early spring starvation time before grocery stores.
So why, is our culture anti-Dandelion? Why is it that we need to eradicate something that brings beauty to the monotony of the green lawn? I realize that part of this is the fear that if you let one Dandelion, there will be many, for her seeds are prolific. This thought brings me to another question, when we have fear, why is our response to wipe out, eradicate, do harm, fight back? Why not simply step away from the fear and really look at the issue? Is the Dandelion truly something to be fearful about? What is the worst that will happen if Dandelion is allowed to grow in our yards? What can be gained or what gifts are there by allowing Dandelion to grow?
Of course, this extends beyond Dandelion. Maybe this is a personal issue. I have been overcoming many fears this spring. I realized that we put too much energy into fear and potential worst case scenarios. So now, I am trying to look at the heart of fear. I encourage you to do this too. What are you afraid of? What keeps you from living the life that you want? What is your gut reaction when faced with fear? Mine tends to be to hide. Though, culturally I believe we tend to eradicate, bring down the enemy. Just imagine what things could be like if we could react with the Heart and Love instead. Would we have so many lives lost and forever changed by war? Would we be poisoning ourselves and the earth because of those pesky Dandelions?
Here’s a bit of a carrot on a string. I developed an enormous, paralyzing fear of heights when my oldest was about a year old. I have allowed this fear to dictate a good portion of my life and avoided many situations where I would have to face it. This winter, while we were planning our trip to Switzerland, we discovered Mt. Titlis (I know, horrible name! I turn into a teenage boy every time.) The mountain is over 10,000 feet high and you can see the Alps and valleys from there. It seemed like an unbelievably gorgeous place. The catch? I would have to ride on 3 gondolas for a total of 40 minutes. I rode on my first ski lift just last year, which was not very high off the ground. Simply looking at the pictures of the gondolas was turning my stomach. However, I decided that I would do this. For months, I worked with Flower Essences and journeying to overcome this fear. Finally, in May, I did it! We went up with dear friends of ours. The first part was a little frightening because I was facing the valley that was quickly becoming farther away. Rescue Remedy was a huge help. After that, I was able to enjoy it. What was even better was the view that I was rewarded with at the top.