Featured Flower: Dandelion
You may wonder why we would pick such a common flower to begin the new year. Certainly not for adding curb appeal to lawns around the county. Oh patient reader, let us tell you why dandelion is the perfect flower for this moment. It is easy to swoon over a peony or a dahlia in full glory, but it’s January, and until you learn to appreciate the beauty of repetition and angle expressed by this cheery weed (as did the Art Nouveau patternmakers), you are missing something. Like a pallet cleanser, dandelion represents the everyday, which we must show our gratitude for before we get go to the ball in a shiny taffeta gown.
Did you know that these bright yellow weeds are found throughout Eurasia and the Americas? And that they can be made into food (dandelion leaves) and drink (dandelion wine)? If you look closely, you will notice that the geometry of the seed-head is brilliantly balanced—creating almost a geodesic dome. According to flowerinfo.com “as a symbol, the dandelion flower is the ultimate emblem for persistence and a strong will. It is also thought to represent wishes coming true, cheerful love, and general happiness.”
Perhaps the most important reason to honor the dandelion is for the wishes. As a child you too may have wished upon a dandelion’s fluff—closed your eyes tight and blown, hoping to send that last seed parachuting off into space and watching as the seeds of your dreams were carried on the breeze.
Perhaps you did not grow up wishing on dandelion puffs, but it is likely that you have wished on a birthday candle, a lucky rock, a feather on the wind or a leaf on the water, or thrown pennies in a wishing well, or even rubbed a dusty lamp or two in an antique shop. It’s okay to laugh at ourselves; wishing is an important part of being human. The key to wishing is not (necessarily) receiving what you want, it is in the wishing itself. It is an act of hope, and an act of foolish defiance toward the forces of the mundane. To wish is to give thought to our dreams, our potential, our brightest thoughts of what can be.
How long has it been since you wished on a dandelion? It’s not too late to be foolish and hope. The next time you are out in your yard being a responsible adult, take a deep breath and give it a try. After all, it is the beginning of a new year. So go ahead, make a wish. Who knows what will happen?
Text and photos by Nadja Masura