In 2009, a pesticide ban came into effect in Oakville. Since then, dandelions have taken hold and the season is once again upon us when lawn-lovers and tidy people everywhere are cringing. No matter where they look they see an unruly invasion of yellow and spend their evenings hunched over the grass, weeding out the interlopers with painstaking precision.
I am not among them.
No, I am too busy taking in the beautiful swaths of cheery yellow that cover every boulevard and public park. I am revelling in the way the dandelions carpet the ground underneath white and pink flowering crabapple trees, and echo the glow of forsythia bushes still in bloom. I am marvelling at their sensibilities, too, closing up tight in the rain and refusing to come out to play until the weather improves. And who can resist the huge bouquets hand picked by little fingers and presented to mummy with a flourish of love and kisses? I have such fond memories of those. Many won’t understand, but I do love dandelions.
Many have suggested that the dandelion is the perfect symbol for the church, with its tendency to cast its seed far and wide. Herb Gale, a Presbyterian minister, used the image in his stewardship work. Ralph Milton, a United Church writer from Milton, Ontario wrote some years ago that at Pentecost, church sanctuaries should be decorated with them to remind us to “go therefore and make disciples…”. I think those opinions are all well and good, but they are in such a hurry to get to the puffy, white seedheads they rush right past the pretty yellow blooms.
And why rush?
After weeks of rain, everyone was outside last night–babies, grandmothers, kids on bicycles. Emily, Tucker and I went to the park where they played on the swings surrounded by lush green and yellow fields. The dandelions and I sat quietly, soaking up the warm spring rays, relieved that finally there was a repreive from all that rain. It was lovely.
Yes, those pretty yellow flowers will run to seed before long. One day soon, we will wake up and the yellow will be dotted with white and we will watch helplessly as the seeds, carried by their miniature parachutes, fly away in the wind. Unless, of course…unless a small child finds them first, and closes her eyes tight to make a wish, and then with great delight and one huge breath launches them all at once out into the neighbourhood.
That will mean lots more dandelions. Perfect.