I love this print. I purchased it while visiting Laurel Mercantile in Laurel, Mississippi. Before Laurel became famous on the television show Home Town I knew it as the hometown of my mother-in-law and the place my husband was born. I’ve always had a soft spot for dandelions. I love all stages of their growth; they make me happy. Unfortunately the lawn care company we pay to make our yard lush sees to it that dandelions will not grow here.
A couple of years ago I stumbled across a story about a then 102 year old artist in Australia. Her name is Trudy Smith. She didn’t begin painting until she was 80 and a widow. Once her husband passed away she finally felt free enough to be herself. First her father then her husband both discouraged her artistic aspirations. She simply went about life, fulfilling her obligations, storing up experience and wisdom that one day spilled out onto her canvas. Trudy explained in this television interview that she viewed herself as a weed growing up in her family. She was different and no one really understood her. Her advice to anyone who feels like the ‘black sheep’ of the family, “Be a weed—then you belong to everyone or anywhere.”
I have pondered her words often over these past couple of years. I admire her spunk and wisdom that can only come with age and a great deal of life experience. What are the characteristics of a weed that make them so resilient? What does she really mean about belonging to everyone and anywhere? I look at my dandelion print and find some clues.
Resiliency and strength come from a long taproot. This root goes deep into the soil and sends out feeder roots to absorb nutrients and to form a strong base. Without a deeply rooted belief system then we, as emotional human beings, will flit and float with the breeze. There is no stability and no growth. For me, my taproot is firmly rooted in my belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Because I have the surety of this, then I have the inner strength to withstand the storms of life. No matter where I live or with whom I socialize I belong because I am not looking to a place or people for my strength and identity. Just like a weed can grow and flourish in nearly any circumstance so can people who have a deep taproot. But also like weeds some folks don’t like them, view them as invasive, or simply a nuisance. That is fine. I just keep doing me and the rest takes care of itself.
Weeds can be ignored, pulled, stomped on and cursed at for their resilient nature. But they keep coming back. In the case of the dandelion, at the end of the flowering cycle, the familiar white powder puff of a seed head releases hundreds of seeds to be carried by the breeze to a new location. Follow the link above to see a time lapse video of the flowering cycle of a dandelion. It is a beautiful metaphor for life.
My goal from this point forward to envision myself a dandelion in all circumstances—tap into my power source, be cheerful and let the seeds of that love float wherever it is needed.
What seeds will you sow today?
May peace, love and joy reign in your heart and life….