24 May 2011
Reclaiming the Dandelion
I've always loved dandelions. As a kid, I remember trawling the backyard and scooping up the yellow sunbursts to lace through my hair. Then and now, they remind me of happy summer pinwheels.
One July afternoon when I was about eight, a neighborhood friend and I were playing outside. I began collecting a fistful of dandelions when she wrinkled her nose and protested, "Why are you picking those? They're not even real flowers, just ugly old weeds." I remember feeling ashamed. I hadn't minded that they were weeds, but evidently, other people did, including someone whose opinion mattered to me. I was a highly sensitive child and her words stung. I dropped the dandelions and then watched as she popped off all of the tops and walked away.
When I think back to that day, I feel sad. I was so influenced by someone else's definition of beauty. And the thing is, I really loved being eight. I loved how much I dreamed and wondered and trusted.
So, today, I am reclaiming the dandelion, and my eight-year-old self. I made a dandelion bouquet and will keep making dandelion bouquets. Loud and proud, baby.
(all images my own)