My children love dandelions. They show up so quickly, these yellow pops of color. Personally, I don’t mind them, I think they are kind of cool – and the yellow against the green of our lawn (after all the rain, it’s actually really green!) looks happy and fresh. My logical mind knows that if we just let them go, they’d take over the lawn and not look so pretty once their spiky leaves and fuzzy heads are all that’s left. And my husband would go berserk. And our neighbors would hate us.
Still, whenever I see them first show up, I am reminded of a scene from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye – one of my favorite books to teach. Pecola, the narrator’s focus, thinks dandelions are pretty, and she wonders why people try to get rid of them. She considers that maybe there are too many of them, and perhaps their strength and persistence trigger hatred. In short, Pecola, who has identified with the dandelions, soon comes around to an anger and hatred of the dandelions, and she agrees that they are weeds. It’s an incredibly painful scene, especially for those of us who fall a little in love with Pecola. And I think that’s why I will cultivate my children’s love of these lovely little flowers for as long as they will let me.
The Bluest Eye – Buy it locally!