I amble down the path in the evening sun, and there she is. Bare arms and feet slip out of her dress all pastel striped. She stands on a green knoll and blows little puffs unto the white ball in her little hand.
“Planting dandelions?” I call to her. Monday to Friday she calls me Miss, but in the warmth of this evening, we are just friends.
She gives a few more puffs than stops and looks at me curiously. “No, I’m just blowing these little white things.”
“They are dandelion seeds,” I reply.
“Dandelions are yellow.” She bends down for another globe.
“You’re right, but then they turn white and those are the seeds.”
She straightens and pauses, pursing her lips into a heart shape. In that brief pause, I am reminded of her thoughtfulness, cautiousness.
I have taught her elder sister, too. She’s a blonde chock full of life, get-er-done, and bold bright laughter.
This little brown-curled one before me will always think a little longer, feel a little deeper. But now, a giggle skips across her freckles and into her dancing brown eyes. She gives a gusty puff and sends more seeds on a journey to earth. She’s delighted to be planting.
She stops. “What about the other ones?”
“The ones you don’t blow?” She nods.
“The wind blows them.”
She nods again, all serious. “Do they all grow?”
“No, not all of them, but a lot of them do.”
She nods sideways, and we talk of other things.
Days later, I can’t shake the memory from my mind. The innocence enjoying the moment, the beauty. Looking life and death in the face, the little girl lives on smiling.
A self-less African-American botanist once said,
I wonder if he meant to speak of more than dandelions and thistles.
I have my perspective, my plan, but the bitter moments, the pains of life that root down in disturb my perfect vista. I call them ugly.
How dare I forget that it is the wind that plants them? How can I forget that every wind that blows is but the breath of the Father? He makes no mistakes. With what I call ugly, He’s making beauty.