Damnedelions

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(Time-lapse video below)

It’s spring. Start your mowers.

Thanks to those croquet-mad Victorians and a voracious lawn care industry, millions slavishly strive to maintain yards full of thick virginal grass–and nothing else!

Good luck with that.

I’m no purist. I like my yard Scott’s-free, full of cheerful violets, pithy inedible strawberries, tiny white-flowered onions, and that king of the interlopers–dandelions. Damnedelions!

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with dandelions: love the flowers, hate the ugly, jaggy, ground-hugging leaves. Which, it turns out, are the source of the plant’s name–dandelion means “lion’s teeth” in French. In fact, it turns out we have the French to thank for introducing dandelions, along with bikinis and snails (a hit and a miss). Early European settlers made salads out of dandelions and brewed “coffee” from their seeds.

I always thought there were two types of dandelions: those happy little orangey-yellow pseudo-daisies my yard is currently full of; and those magical puff-balls which every child knows are used as public transportation by faeries. Wrong! It turns out they’re the same plant.  After those cute flowers wilt and turn ugly, the seeds gather into a sphere called a “clock.”  Here’s a cool time-exposure video of the process:

How like us dandelions are, organizing themselves around clocks, terrified of being uprooted…

Dandelions are human weeds.

Created to live for a season,

then die beyond themselves,

instead they push into the soil

and flatten themselves against the earth,

huddling beneath the mowings of time.

They strive to invent a purpose of their own,

borrowing their color from the sun.

And when the sun takes it back,

they send their progeny into the wind,

saying, “Remember me, remember me,”

hoping to gain a second-hand immortality,

when something infinitely more beautiful was planned.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Poetry, Videos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Damnedelions

  1. That was awesome! Loved the music big-time!

    My mom made us offer to cut out dandelions from our neighbors one year because she wanted to gather enough dandelions to make dandelion wine.

    This year, we have so many of them – all pushing and shoving at each other to find room – we could open a distillery from the harvest!

    We used to sit in the apple orchards, making daisy chains with them, and putting them under each others’ chins. If you saw yellow reflected under the chin, evidently you liked butter.

    Silly kid’s games. I miss ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heather says:

    What a fun perspective!
    My kids are excited about our current crop. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quixie says:

    Just watched this video with my 6 year old. We both found it fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Beautiful, poignant poetry, Mitch. ‘Love that line, “huddling beneath the ruthless mowings of time.” Your brilliant word choices grab the readers’ attention. And the lesson of that line particularly spoke to me of perseverance. The video demonstrated that the longest stage of development is in-between flower and seed clock. Interesting. There’s a lesson about perseverance there, too. I’ll never look at dandelions the same way again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mitchteemley says:

    Thank you, Nancy!

    Like

  6. Pingback: Damnedelions | Mitch Teemley

  7. mitchteemley says:

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:

    It’s spring and the dandelions–the most human of all weeds–are back.

    Like

  8. Mitch, my grandmother cooked the best dandelion greens ever and sometimes picked the flowers and made a terrific wine……yep, she loved those weeds also. And the wine would knock your socks off.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. harmsvuy5 says:

    I genuinely loved everything about this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lyart says:

    Reblogged this on floatsome.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bitey Dog says:

    Who would have thought you could make me like dandelions!

    Liked by 1 person

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