“If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless.” ~ James E. Faust
Judy Sackett is very funny. Walking to the garage yesterday she suddenly said, “What are we, Dandelion U?” I didn’t get the reference until I saw them glistening in the evening sun; a field of puffy dandelions where UK’s pristine lawn used to be. It’s a bit unusual for them to let the little wildflowers go to seed, but maybe they’ve taken up the honey bee’s cause. I can get behind that. Besides, one (wo)man’s weed is another’s flower. I choose to see a flower.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
The dandelion is a much maligned flower with incredible properties. My grandmother and the generations before her used the dandelion for healing. Many Native Americans and other enlightened folks still use the dandelion in this way. When I was five, my great Aunt Hazel was visiting. My mother drove Hazel and my grandmother to a nearby farm to buy the Sunday chicken. I stayed behind with my grandfather. The last thing I remember was playing in the creek. When I came to, I was on the couch, with the three women staring at me, whispering. Apparently, I had become violently ill very quickly. Upon their return, laying the now dead chicken to the side, Aunt Hazel went into action, instructing mom and Mamaw the weeds and roots to gather. Dandelion was the primary ingredient. She boiled the mess into a poultice she then spread on my chest. My symptoms suggested a venomous bite, though no marks were found, and no one ever knew exactly what happened to me. One thing is certain, however, Aunt Hazel’s dandelion poultice kept me from the hospital, or perhaps dying for all we know. I don’t mind the dandelions in my yard one bit. They’re beautiful, important flowers, and I’m very thankful for them.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.”
~ Mother Teresa
Some people think dandelions are a nuisance, a weed, an eyesore on their perfect lawn. In truth, they’re potent, hardy flowers that have saved countless lives for centuries. My great, great Aunt Hazel was visiting from Paintsville. It was 1970. I was five. After church, Aunt Hazel, mom, and Mamaw drove to a nearby farm to buy the Sunday dinner chicken. I stayed behind with Papaw to play in the creek like I always did. They returned 20 minutes later to find me deathly ill on the couch. The symptoms were that of a snake bite, though no marks could be found. My fever was high with sweat, delirium, and labored breathing. Aunt Hazel sent mom and Mamaw to the yard for a variety of weeds, most of which were dandelion. She boiled the mix into a putrid poultice then spread it warm across my chest. Within an hour it was as if nothing ever happened. I remember little of the illness. I was in the creek having a big time, then I was waking to Aunt Hazel’s angelic face. I don’t remember anything in between. I only know she saved my life with those dandelions. Here are some pretty UK tulips. They probably cure something, too, though I don’t know what.