Monday, January 9, 2012

Dandelions

When I was a child, I remember hearing two stories of the dandelion, that stay with me still, though I couldn't tell you who told or read them to me, so you'll just have to make due with my remembered paraphrasing.  (On an aside, if you DO know where they originated, I would appreciate the knowledge!)

The Dandelion and the Rose

Once upon a time, a fine princess traveling in her carriage stopped along the road to pluck a dandelion in full glorious yellow bloom.  She held him carefully in her hands and brought him home to her castle.  On her window sill, in a lovely, long necked glass vase, stood a single, proud red rose.  The princess placed the dandelion within the same narrow vase, smiled as the sunlight played across them, and walked on her way.

The rose, in a huff at the commonness of her new companion, scorned his attempts at introduction.  She could not believe she, a prized hot-house beauty, must share water with an average -weed-.

The humble dandelion answered proudly, "But do we not both make the princess smile in gladness?"


The other is

The Angel's Chosen Flower

Long, long ago, when faith brought angels safely to the world to walk amongst the living, the Angel of the Flowers came to find her chosen, best-beloved flower.  She traveled through forests, towns and valleys, stopping to question the flowers along her way.

She encounter a creeping rose and asked, "Where in all the world would you choose to grow?"

The shy creeping rose answered, "Upon a sturdy wall, to help me climb, as I am weak and too delicate on my own." The angel granted the rose's wish, but continued on her way.  This was not the answer she was searching for.

As she continued on, she came to a field of riotous daffodils, proud on their sturdy stalks and asked, "Where in all the world would you choose to grow?"

The daffodils answered, "Together, against the wind, for we are strong and glorious in our might!"  The angel granted their wish, but again, continued on her way.  This too, was not the answer she was searching for.

Then the angel came across a dandelion, growing in a meadow and again asked, "Where in all the world would you choose to grow?"

The dandelion beamed in his sunny yellowness, to be asked such a question but the Angel of Flowers and answered, "Oh!  To live where happy children might find me in their passing!  I wish to live where people might see me and be gladdened!"

The Angel knew that finally, this, was the answer she had searched for!  And she said to the dandelion, "You are my best-beloved and chosen flower.  You will blossom everywhere--in fields, in meadows, up through the cracks--in every nook and cranny.  You will blossom from early spring and into the fall and bring delight to the children in all your forms."

And that is how the dandelion became the Angel's Chosen Flower.


I share these two stories from my childhood because high school was on my mind tonight.

"How do two stories about this flower have anything to do with that?", you might ask.  It's because I was reminiscing about when they passed out the slips of paper my senior year asking us to choose a class flower.  You can probably surmise that I chose the dandelion, but I've always wished that they'd left us space to say WHY we wanted the particular flower.  I think, if they had, we might have had it for ours.

Because for me, the class flower was meant to be one that represented us.  And I believe it did-- after all, Dandelions are little flowers, that no matter how hard they are squashed, never fail to come back.  It is a flower of determination.  And optimism.  And hope.  And wishes.  How could it NOT be the flower of Seniors about the embark into the world?

And so I leave a quote to ponder:


"The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common.  If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world." --(and like the stories, the author is unknown.)

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