William Wordsworth wrote:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils…
Why daffodils? Why not dandelions? They are both yellow. They are both cheerful. They both start with the letter D. So what’s wrong with dandelions…except, of course, that in this case – it wouldn’t rhyme.
Even though dandelions have medicinal uses and are harvested for food, they are listed as a noxious weed in many jurisdictions. My neighbors hate them and cast disparaging looks at our yard when the cheerful yellow blooms pop up and wave at them in a friendly manner.
Multiple internet sites offer advice on how to kill or get rid of dandelions. They are considered a nuisance in residential and recreational lawns and in agriculture. They get blamed for economic damage because they infest crops worldwide.
Pilgrims brought dandelions to New England from Europe in the 1600s, and planted them for health benefits which included curing scurvy, a condition caused by a lack of vitamin C. Because dandelions are hardy, they survived. Because they are aggressive, spread easily, grow anywhere, and are highly visible – the once revered flowers are now hated.
Children love dandelions. What magical fun to blow on a dandelion and watch white fluff somersault through the air on wind currents – tiny circus performers catching a moment of freedom and life in celebration. I still love blowing on dandelions. (I don’t do it when the neighbors are watching!)
Fortrose, Scotland, threw off winter gloom and followed a bright parade of golden daffodils this spring. Except the ones captured by cameras and memories, they are gone now. Now, the land has rolled out folds of green and gold tartan as dandelions march staunchly into the battle for continued survival.
Christians need to be like dandelions – not daffodils. We should be aggressive on the side of right. We should spread the Good News about Jesus’ love and eternal life everywhere we go. We should bloom where God plants us. We should be hardy, even when we are met by ridicule. We should catch the breath of the Holy Spirit and celebrate Jesus as freely and joyfully as dandelion fluff in a whirlwind.
Instead of daring to be a Daniel, like the children’s Bible song, we should dare to be a dandelion.
I think I just encouraged myself to go out and blow on some dandelions in front of my neighbors. I may or may not be back…