Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dandelions

Dandelions are full of vitamins - a, b complex, c, d, as well as potassium, iron, and zinc. Their leaves and flowers can be eaten in salads. The flowers can be used to make dandelion wine. The roots and leaves can be made into teas. They are easy to grow, their seeds taking root on even the tiniest patch of bare earth they can find. They require no work to cultivate, no fertilizers, no special care.  Their cheerful flowering heads are an early sign that spring has finally arrived.

There is much to admire about the dandelion. Yet millions of Americans loathe them and spend countless hours (and dollars!) attempting to root them out of their yards.  They are called weeds, thought of as worthless, and looked down on as a nuisance.  It reminds me, in many ways, of the way that Catholics especially and Christians in general are looked at in the current secular/atheistic culture in which we live.

Our cheerful faces blooming anywhere God plants us, in spite of every attempt by our culture to root us out and remove us.  Over the last two thousand years, there have been plenty of said efforts, all of which were unsuccessful.  We are hardy, thriving in climates too harsh for the more "cultured" flowers of society.  We require no special tending, relying on God alone for the sustenance we need. The teachings we adhere to are full of things that are good for both the individual and society - yet our beneficial nature of what we have to offer is often overlooked, misrepresented, or outright ignored.

We are a dandelion people.  We will be here long after today's shrinking violets have wilted and the hot house exotic flowers of popular culture have died off.  We are a dandelion people. We are not wanted, yet we persist; we are not cultivated, yet we thrive; we do God's will in spite of the attempts by others to stop us.  We are a dandelion people. Our essential goodness is proven over time and unchanged by the opinions of those who stand opposed to us.

Here's to the dandelions. May God prosper and bless them, and may the people in whose yards and sidewalks they flourish develop a deep and abiding appreciation of the gift which they are.

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