On dandelions and writing

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On Dandelions

I hate those yellow flowers! It’s so difficult to pull them out. God…their roots burrow so deep.

Someone recently told me this about dandelions. I didn’t know it then that many people disliked – strike that, detested – dandelions.

Of course, it was quite foolish of me to assume that everyone loved them – my gold is someone else’s garbage and my garbage is someone else’s gold. That’s how the world works. That’s how it maintains balance. I get that.

But still, it surprised me.

One of the favorites in our home was someone else’s bane, aggressively devouring their lawn space where their careful selection of homegrown plants should be. As a perfectionist-in-remission, I do get their frustration with dandelions. If I were trying my hands at gardening, I would have wanted my lawn to have some order too. I understand that. Yet, it did not stop me from feeling a little unsettled.

Back home, a quick Google Search schooled me more on the topic and the different ways one could eliminate this weed. W-E-E-D. Took me a while to accept and digest this new information. This yellow wildflower is so ubiquitous this time of the year in Switzerland that you cannot walk a few steps without seeing them popping everywhere in a blanket of green. Thankfully, lawn maintenance is not so stringent here so as to restrict its spread. Yet, it is not welcome in many homes.

But, us? Well, we are pro-wildflower people. We are also lazy-when-it-comes-to-lawn-care people. But I am digressing here. Intentions are not on scrutiny here, are they? So, moving on…

Ever since the weather has gotten warmer, every morning, after dropping our son to school, I have carefully counted the number of dandelion heads swerving in the morning breeze, ripe and ready for the plucking in our home’s front lawn (or is it the back lawn? I can never tell which is the front or rear of our home!).  And every afternoon, post-school, our son has come home running and picked every single one of them out, blowing them away into the wind.

Three, sometimes, four whole minutes of unadulterated delight!

So, you see, to me dandelions are freedom, madness, impulse. The unbridled joy of childhood. Like bubbles. Like giggles. Like the morning sun and the wind smushed together in your face. Like pop rocks.

To me, they are the little things that make this world tolerable, pleasant even. They are resilience in the face of hardships, “do your worst, but I will still be standing” defiance.

And every time, I see dandelion seeds float past in the afternoon breeze, off to grow roots somewhere new, to me, they are hope. They are the reassurance that it is a circle, the end is also the beginning. Floating away is finding the way back home.

Funny enough, that is how I sometimes feel about writing too, especially when I am doing very little of it.

On Writing

I am not always sure what to make of the things I write about. Maybe it’s just a way for me to process my place in this world. Maybe sometimes it’s a feeble attempt at making a minuscule dent in the fabric of the universe, knocking on its doors, letting anyone who’s listening know – I was here. I existed. This, I created.

But I drift away from it often, straying afar with the breeze of life, charting a meandering curve, uncertain where I am and where I want to be. Dormant or dead, no one could say for sure, not at least when I am adrift.

Yet come spring, and my words find their way back to a page, take roots, and blossom. They rebel against my own silence, adding a quiet voice into the great big nothing. Probably not for someone else. For me. Yes, just for me. Freedom, madness, impulse. The unbridled joy of childhood. Like bubbles. Like giggles. Like the morning sun and the wind smushed together in your face. Like pop rocks. Like hope. Like defiance. Like the circle of life. Like home.

Yes, writing is home. Been that way for a while now. My home, my sanctuary, my grounding. If only my words could mean more and do more than aggressively devour space like a weed.

Then again, as a Quora user rightly pointed out:

“The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment.” – Unknown

Probably, I just need to leave my judgment behind and focus on creating and being. No matter how pointless, impulsive, wild, or crude it feels. Leave all the criticism, the self-doubt, the shackles, aside. And just focus. On living, on hoping, on dreaming, on drifting, on growing…Rest is not my work. It is up to the world to attribute meaning, to brand my words as weed or wildflower. Your choice.

Additional References

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