They were the dandelions. The sunny little bloom that most people think of as weeds. When I see them though, they remind me of childhood. Of warm, spring-like days when the sun shined brightly as I hopped off the school bus and walked through our yard to my home.
I would stop here and there and gather up a handful of blooming dandelions. Their juicy stems left a sticky sap on my fingers, but I didn’t mind. As I presented my little bouquet gift of dandelions to my mother, she never once said, “Why are you picking these weeds to bring to me?” Instead she would ask, “Aren’t they pretty?” and put them in a jar of water on the kitchen table.
Today people use weed killer spread over the lawn in an attempt to eradicate these bursts of color in their yard. But I don’t. Because yellow, perky dandelions remind me of spring and sunshine and childhood memories and even my own children. And they make me smile and fill my heart with happy thoughts.
But time marches on and so the dandelions come to the end of their blooming cycle. Where once were lemony colored petals on the stem, only wisps of seeds remain. When I was a child, I picked the stems after the blooms turned to white balls of fluff, closed my eyes, made a wish, inhaled a deep breath, and blew with all my might to send the dandelion seeds and my wishes sailing into the air.
A spring gust of wind would lift the feathery seeds up and carry them along as they floated and sailed in the breeze. Fluttering. Gliding. Drifting.
Bursting forth with vim and vigor, and then fluttering along in the air of life. Floating. Sometimes soaring, but eventually brought down to earth until we wither and are no more.
But the story doesn’t end there. The dandelion seeds produce more happy yellow blooms next spring. For us humans, our legacy lives on in our children and their children. Just like dandelions.
In reflection of that, I’m savoring my thoughts and memories today, holding tight to these joyous moments of life as we prepare to marry off our three offspring. Just yesterday it seems my home was noisy and full of rambunctious children. Now it is quiet and tranquil.
Just yesterday it seems my middle child, the one full of spark and livelihood, was a youngster. And now she is a grown up young lady who will be dressed in white lace and escorted down the church aisle by her father to be given in marriage in just one short month.
She’ll fly off with her husband …. her husband…my daughter is old enough to have a husband! There will be new adventures for her, a new home, a different state in which to live, even a new job. She looks forward to this exciting next chapter of her life with such joy. I saw it glowing in her face at her bridal shower this past weekend as she opened her gifts and talked about the wedding.
Just like the dandelions I once held in my hands, I also once held my precious children. And now the day draws near when I must release them completely. As the wind carries the wispy remains of dandelions to and fro in this spring season, my children also will soar into their futures, to their upcoming marriages, to their new lives in this current season of life. I will watch and rejoice as they float and glide along and I will remember dandelions.
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