Looking Beyond the Weeds

The other night when I was in the field in back of our house, I was taken in by how pretty all the yellow dandelions and purple violets looked against the back drop of the green grass while the setting sun cast its golden glow. It reminded me of a story Doc had told me a few years back about when she was a child and how children see things so much more clearly than adults.

Doc grew up in the country on three acres and their house was surrounded on three sides by a beef cattle and horse farm. Back in those days no one put chemicals on their laws or fields, so the farm land where the animals grazed were filled with wildflowers native to Ohio. In the summer, Doc would pick the wildflowers that she found and bring them to her mother as a present. She said she especially liked the bright yellow color of the dandelions, thinking they were the most beautiful flower of them all. Her mother always acted pleased when she got the flower arrangements and then put them in a vase, placing them in the middle of the dining table like they were an expensive bouquet from the florist.

It wasn’t until years later that Doc found out the flowers she considered so beautiful were considered weeds and today are the blight of proud suburban lawn owners who spray to keep their lawns free of them. When Doc and I take our daily walks, all we see are laws of perfectly manicured green, not one wildflower in sight. The funny thing is that even though people now consider dandelions as weeds, they really are not. Dandelions are part of the daisy family, are edible, have health benefits and are a rich source of nectar for bees. It just goes to show you how negative rumors can be started and believed, not only about people, but plants as well.

This is a perfect example of why Doc always reminds me to look below the surface and get the facts before making a judgement about anything. It’s important not to believe rumors or opinions just because someone told you what they think is true, or we could miss out on the truth and the beauty below the surface. As a child, Doc only saw the beauty of the dandelions that she picked for her mother so long ago. Maybe we all need to embrace the innocence of childhood once again before we had any preconceived ideas about life.

” Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye-it is very beautiful.” Kailash Satyarthi