Please Don’t Let My Wife See This

  Dandelions are beautiful.  If it was only with effort that they could be seen, like edelweiss in high alpine meadows, there’d be songs about them and they’d be the national flower of someplace.

  The yellow tuft is a glorious early bit of spring and offers an earnest greeting to those receptive to it.  What kind of a black heart does not smile at the sight after a long and cold winter?

  Dense green homogeneity as the suburban standard is but the latest installment of our tribe’s misguided quest for control.  The “Enlightenment” as manifest in the gardens of Versailles has now devolved into the verdant compulsion of Middle America.

  With a lot of work and fertilizer,   bluegrass, fescue, and rye can be made to sit still and stay from May through September.  Nice carpet of green in the foreground for dogs and kids to stay off of.

  Dandelions show up on their own early and often.  They need no care and establish themselves quite tenaciously. Their taproot makes one wonder how the description “grass roots” came not to mean weak or ephemeral. The obvious part of their life cycle is compressed and its end even more bothersome to the fastidious. 

  But have you ever (since you were a kid?) closely examined one of those white spheres (“clocks”) of a mature flower head?  Then blown on one?  It’s an incredible effusion of joy.  A transmigration.  It fills me with the same sort of wonder as a gaze into the sea or a star lit night.

  Then look closely at one of the tiny fruits suspended from its parachute.  They float along swaying gently to-and-fro until their path is blocked, the fruit separates from its chute, and the whole thing begins again.  Sometimes if a dispersal is blocked before it has a chance to travel far and spread out, the parachutes are shook free of their loads and coalesce into something just this side of the emperor’s new clothes.

  Product of evolution, but a miracle all the same.

  The evolution of the name parallels the evolution of its place in our consciousness.  Early on in French it was called “dent de lion” or tooth of a lion for the shape of its leaves – which can be used in a salad or made into soup.  In modern French it is a “pissenlit” meaning, uh, urinate in bed.  This is due to the diuretic nature of the aforementioned courses of a meal. 

  That’s what we get for leaving the garden. 

  Dang it Eve – you mow.

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One Response to “Please Don’t Let My Wife See This”

  1. Sally Wifey??? Says:

    you missed a spot

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