I’m not writing about dandelions

I bet you thought I was going to write about dandelions, those yellow works of art that began popping out on my lawn yesterday (May 11) as I write this, like sunshine in the grass.
But I’m not going to.
I wrote about dandelions in my very first column back in 2010 and I’ve celebrated their glory a few times, because my love of dandelions bears repeating, I tell myself.
My grandson, Linden, announced to his kindergarten class that dandelions are his grandma’s favourite flower and nowhere in his announcement did the word “weed” creep into the conversation and he told them about bees needing that early spring nectar, but you know all that, because if a five-year-old knows this fact, then surely the rest of us do.
Of course, Linden’s Vancouver dandelions were out long before Nova Scotia dandelions and I would hazard a guess that Fort Frances dandelions maybe thinking about rising but are still in the planning stages.
If I was going to write about dandelions, though I’m not, I would say how we can count on them year after year, even when our neighbours launch an assault against the precious dandelions, an all out chemical war, they still come back.
I once came upon a single dandelion growing up in a crack in the sidewalk concrete, like a reassuring statement: “I am here. Don’t worry.”
And has there ever been a finer colour than dandelion yellow. I challenge you to think a grumpy thought when you come face to face with the most cheerful of colours. It can’t be done except for those devoted to the practice of grumpiness.
We all know that every part of the dandelion has a use, whether it be for food, medicine, or dye.
Long before we thought lawns were a good idea, grass was pulled out to make room for dandelions. Such clever people were our ancestors.
And of course, the dandelion enjoys the longest flowering season of any plant with its seeds being carried on the wind for as far as eight kilometers. The dandelion was brought to North America by Europeans to be used as a food staple, where it was in cultivation since the reign of Caesar in Roman times.
Sadly we spend millions of dollars a year to keep the dandelion out of our lawns, to keep them looking uniform and pristine and though I don’t know the Canadian statistics, Americans use 30% of their water supply to keep their lawns green.
What madness is this.
I’m not going to write about this though it is an important message. Instead I will spend my time remembering sitting on my Aunt Helen’s front steps with a small glass bowl of water and a handful of dandelion stems, tearing them in fine strips and watching them curl like magic in the water.
Hour after hour I separated the strands of the dandelion stems and was mesmerized to a point of bliss as I watched them slowly curl, tighter and tighter until they became something else.
I will gather up my own bouquet of dandelions and put them in a small glass of water, just for the afternoon, to gaze at while I write my column on a Groupon I received in my email this morning for a spray-on tan.
Really? Is that what we need?
Talk about madness.