In my lifetime I have been the lucky recipient of lots of bouquets of beautiful flowers.
Gorgeous delicate tea roses, crimson carnations and daffodils, the colour of spring. Beautiful orchids, only tinged with a breathtaking hue of something lovely, magnificent lilies and delightful daisies have arrived at my doorstep, all artfully displayed in crystal vases that sparkle with flower shop perfection.
But, even with such a delightful potpourri of bouquets that live in my garden of memories, there is one bouquet that truly will never be forgotten.
Over the years, this humble slightly wilted bouquet has been unceremoniously handed to me by a little person, who clutches the shaggy offering in a grubby hand.
The dandelion bouquet.
There are no written rules about receiving such a bouquet in the proper manner, but I do believe it is acceptable to receive the flowers graciously, immediately place them in a Mason jar and put the arrangement in the middle of the kitchen table.
Cookies and milk or a jam and peanut butter sandwich are usually then served as a way of saying ‘thanks.’
Dandelion bouquets are so much a part of the growing up years; the busy years when life is not ruled by manicured dandelion free lawns and such humble bouquets are presented and accepted with the simplicity of love and grace.
Now, as I flashback to those long ago days of summer, I have come to the sad but true realization that one would be fortunate, indeed, blessed to waste time wisely by sitting in the sun with a child and creating a dandelion chain.
This year, however, I momentarily forgot all about such things.
I felt, instead, horrified that my entire lawn, front and back, was profusely covered with dandelions.
I held my head down in shame.
“What would the neighbours think?”
I quickly ran to the nearest store to buy something to murder the pesky little weeds and instructed my husband to use it liberally that afternoon.
When I arrived home from work I didn’t want to be greeted by the sight of a green and yellow polka dotted lawn, I said, in my grouchy grown up, stressed out voice.
My husband followed instructions, but those dandelions, like a bad weed or a bad penny or whatever it is that’s bad, did not die. They did not even seem wounded, but the next morning peeped up, bright and lively and yellow as ever.
In frustration, I phoned my friend, who has flower power and knows how to eradicate weeds and other unwanted things from one’s lawn.
He listened to my laments sympathetically, but I fear, also with a carefully concealed hint of boredom.
“Don’t worry, they’ll soon to be gone on their own, just mow their heads off.”
I listened to his advice, chose to ignore it and, instead, drove to one of the retail outlets where dandelion poison is a hot item.
But, somehow when I got to the store and looked at the elaborate display of Killex, I had to agree.
“Was it really worth it?”
And, so I drove home, mowed the lawn, which effectively chopped the heads off.
And, as I mowed I remembered.
I remembered a young woman who was ridiculously happy because someone with grubby little hands handed her a painstakingly picked dandelion bouquet.
And the memory made me smile.
Perception! It’s all about perception!