My response to The Four’s challenge: “curious, beautiful, wondersome.” A dandelion seed head about 30 feet from part the Victory Garden, whose welcomingly rich soil lies open and fallow, sifted with bronze and gold leaves, its rich red bits exposed and ready to accept some of that windblown puff.
I couldn’t possibly pull it up, though. I love dandelions. They’ve been a food plant for humans for thousands of years, and are still cultivated in France — where the seed breeders develop new and improved strains, if you can believe that, with a larger leaf surface, a better taste, a texture just slightly more pleasing to the palate. But long before I knew they were a food source, I was on their side simply because they’re the underdog that keeps winning. The whole array of modern chemical anti-nature warfare is leveled against them every year, and they keep right on surviving, and even thriving.
As I look at this photo, I’m recalling someone I dated way back in college — and how I knew it wasn’t going to last when we went to visit his mother, and on the way to the front door, he bent over and viciously yanked a dandelion out of her lawn. He bent to grab up another, and I cried in anguished tones, “Stop! What did it ever do to you?” and he looked at me as if he was just clearly seeing me for the first time, and discovering I was not just a delightfully free spirit, but also a slightly deranged one. (And maybe having second thoughts about taking me home to Mama — although she thought I was lovely. Mothers nearly always love me, and I usually love them back.)
Ah, well, somebody has to keep loving the dandelions… or else I’m sure they couldn’t have survived all this time. I suspect there’s more than just a few of us renegades out there. Oh, and all of the world’s children are on our side. I’m sure of that.