I have a four year old daughter, Holland. There is nothing more beautiful to Holland than a field full of dandelions. I have vases and cups filled with dandelions she has picked for me. Mrs. Johnson, her preschool teacher, is gifted with a bouquet each pre-school morning. It is sure interesting how something adults can find so ugly and annoying, can be so beautiful to a child.
When you think about it, a dandelion can grow and blossom even in the cracks in concrete. It can thrive in a field, in rocks, in a lawn. It can transform itself into a light airy cloud and there is much joy in blowing the billowy seeds and watching them spread.
I used to think if one was compared to a dandelion, it would be the metaphor of being a weed, spreading ugliness throughout what was once beautiful. Maybe it could be the opposite, maybe being a dandelion could mean being resilient, growing, changing and influencing. What if good ideas, goodwill, and good deeds were dandelions, springing up everywhere and blowing all around us before taking root and spreading? What a wonderful world it would be...the dandelion effect.
Sometimes the world, its possibilities and its magic are so much more beautiful when seen through the eyes of a child. As parents and as teachers it is our privilege and responsibility to nourish that joy and wonder rather than to exterminate it.
I am not saying I am going to be letting the dandelions go wild in my yard, but they will remain in the vase on my kitchen table (I am regularly provided with a fresh batch). Hopefully they will remind me of the endless potential in our children and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.