Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Observations - The Lesson of the Dandelion

My yard is full of dandelions. Lots of them. Despite my relentless efforts to rid the grass of these through organic anti-weed fertilizers, and painstakingly pulling them out by the roots one by one... they keep coming back. And multiplying. And now they've turned into their white puffy alter-egos and are taunting me even more as I cringe at the fact that each little seed that is lifted into the air is destined to plant itself and grow another.

Finally, I've decided to accept the fact that they share the yard with me, and let them be. Me and the dandies in harmony together.

Dandelions have always fascinated me. I remember playing in the school yard during the cherished recess break, popping the yellow tops off and using it's pigment to draw on the sidewalk. By the end of the hour, the cement was covered with little yellow hearts and stars. Some of the other kids would taunt each other with sayings of "Mama had a baby and it's head popped off" as they would flick the yellow dandelion head off into the air with their thumb. I never partaked in that. I just liked to draw with them, and stain my fingers with the yellow weed. Then one day I'd go outside and the yellow was gone and replaced by white poofs. My friends and I would make wishes and blow the little seeds into the air. They'd dance in the sky until they floated into the grass and disappeared.

This little weed made me think. Dandelions, like other weeds, flowers, trees and any living growing thing, change. They grow and transform themselves. Just like people. But underneath, it really is all the same. It is just in the appearance.

I've enjoyed the past few months, looking out my windows and seeing everything change. The tree that stands outside turned from a brown skeleton into being thriving & lush green. I no longer have the same view out my window, as I no longer see the house across the street, now I see leaf covered branches.

The dandelions have taught me to relax and not try to make everything perfect. To sit back and enjoy things, instead of seeing them as a burden. Everything the last few weeks has been focused around observing change, and accepting change and learning to let certain things be.

Thank you dandelions.


Blogger Leezy said...

This is lovely Beth. Welcome back!

When we were kids - mum used to tell us that if we picked dandlelions we'd wet the bed, so we stayed away. But when the white poofies appeared, we could pick them. And we were told that if we blew the white puffs from the weed, it could tell the time by the amount of breaths and blows it took to make them all fly away from the weed's head.

I accepted this to be true and never, ever compared it to my watch even to this day. Bizarrely, I picked one on Monday of this week to see what time it was ...

I like to think of dandlions as the poor man's marigold!

I really like the back ground and transparancy of layers. Is this one of your fabby screen prints?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

I want everyone to know I have been enjoying your journey books.
thank you Beth for this wonderful post on the dandilion. I think it is time I give up my battle with them and just let it be.
Beautiful illustration.

7:01 AM  
Blogger carla said...

These pages are so pretty, Beth! I agree with Leeza about the wonderful background. it makes me think of a trellis or latticework. The blue is lovely against the yellow and green of the dandelions.

I've always loved dandelions, probably because their yellow is so vibrant. I love the puffballs they turn into as well...light and fluffy. I have a recipe for dandelion cookies that another blogger passed along to me, but it's at home. I'll send it to you - or post it here. Maybe you can find even more ways to enjoy your new "friendss."

9:29 AM  
Anonymous beth said...

Thank you!

No silkscreen, although I thought about it, but since my screen printing supplies did not make it into a box for the move, I had to come up with an alternative which ended up being better for me.

I created some subtle texture with white gesso, and then went over it in washes of acrylic and ink. Inbetween some of the layers I sprayed it with SprayFix so the ink would not smear (even though it is suppose to be waterproof) since I was using a lot of water in my washes I wanted to be careful.

9:01 AM  
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12:59 PM  
Blogger Mise said...

Yes Leezy...in some parts of Ireland they're known as 'piss-a-beds' and we did the time of the day puffing too :-D ...I love looking a fields full of dandelions despite their bad press as weeds. My own garden is full of them, much to the annoyance of my neighbour ...

'The dandelions have taught me to relax and not try to make everything perfect. To sit back and enjoy things, instead of seeing them as a burden.'

I like this ...wish I could put it into practice.

4:25 AM  

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