It’s that remarkable season of reawakening, spring, glorious springtime! And more than all of the other blooms that announce the season of unslumbering, Dandelions remind us that nature is nourishing and vibrant and brilliantly colorful.
Routinely dismissed, even abhored, as an annoying weed, dandelions are for me a welcome harbinger of warming temperatures, greening environs, several seasons of blooms and fruit and vegetables. And yet dandelions remain mostly symbolic representatives of reawakening, vivid reminders of the abundance we’ll soon celebrate.
A decade or more ago Tom Duca introduced me and a gathering of Essex area friends to The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion by Anita Sanchez. His enthusiasm for her enthusiasm about dandelions made an impression on me that afternoon. I planned to read it, but it slipped off my radar. Until now. I’ve located a copy that is presently wending is way to me. So, soon I’ll be able to amplify my understanding (and presumably my appreciation) for dandelions.
But even before educating myself I’ll comfortably come down on the side of dandelions bring friends. Yes, I know that many might consider them an invasive scourge peppering the perfection of an otherwise green lawn.
But I do not share this disdain. Rather, dandelions evoke childhood wonder and enthusiasm for spring a perennially optimism inspiring season for me. Simply put springtime is seasonality’s metaphorical morning. And rambunctious riots of dandelions are one of the most exuberant symbols of the season. Persistent, yes, but in so many cases we’re able to recognize the merits of persistence. Why not dandelions?
We know too that dandelions are a forager’s friends, Nature’s nourishing gift of vitamins and minerals after months of hibernal stinginess. I’ve enjoyed tender dandelion greens in a spring salad mixes from the store, but I’ve rarely made the effort to harvest these spicy freebies from the yard. It’s an embarrassing oversight I intend to remedy. Soon. And dandelion wine? So many experiments to explore…
So for now, I’ll optimistically file dandelions as friend (and not foe) despite the proclivity of so many among my gardening aficionado cohort to vilify and endeavor to extirpate this sunny sojourner. If designation by and large comes down to bias, I’ve now made mine known. Caveat emptor. And once I’ve made it through Sanchez’s book I’ll be able to update this post with a meatier installment justifying my somewhat sentimental declaration that dandelions are our friends. Stay tuned…
What do you think?