Saturday, September 28, 2013
This morning being Saturday, I was awakened not by the alarm clock but by the sun shining through the window onto my bed. As our little Simone shifted from where she lay sleeping by my feet to better capture some of the sun's rays on her fur, something in which she delights, she unintentionally nudged me awake. Opening my eyes, I caught sight of, then focused on, a newly blooming dandelion. Ah, the dandelion!
Consider the dandelion: most gardeners work out to remove it from lawns and wherever else it may grow. (It likes to grow and spreads readily, as we all know.) We don't really welcome the dandelion.
Think, however, of the dandelion from a more positive point of view. The dandelion is a perennial; it always returns. Its long, lance-like leaves are toothed; hence, the name (Old French: dent-de-lion, or tooth of the lion). Now, that is some protection from those who would weed it out, literally. While we have generally developed a negative attitude toward the tooth of the lion, that tooth provides us with so much, not the least of which is an example of how God has fashioned nature to provide for all needs.
Beauty, nurture for the aesthetic part of us. Yes, though we may not welcome the dandelion, most of us do find it pretty.
Alimentation, nurture for the physical part of us. The leaves can add special flavor to our salads or be cooked as greens, like spinach, for a vegetable meal. The root, too, can feed us like any other tubular root. Then, of course, there is dandelion wine that provides just a tad more to our diet than simple alimentation. Dandelions are good for our health and have more vitamins and nutrients than any cultivated plant: betacarotene, calcium, iron, vitamins B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin P, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, insulin, and zinc. It improves the functioning of the liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, pancreas, bladder, and intestings. Dandelion tea, here I come!
The tenacity of the dandelion bespeaks its delicateness. Those little white flying feathers that are left over when the yellow is gone scatter everywhere on the wings of the wind to share the next generation of dandelions with neighbors and owners alike.
Nature is, indeed, awesome. The multiple uses of the plants that God has given to us, as I described a while back in a post on the walnut tree at our previous residence, continues to amaze me!