Friday, April 25, 2014

Dandelions - The Yellows of Spring - 1

     "Spring... makes everything young except man," said Jean Paul Friedrich (1763-1825).
     Who would have thought that 251 years later (2014) he was accurate in his assumption.  Just the sight of a single bright yellow Dandelion flower in a sea of manicured green grass can turn a man's hair gray before summer.  He'll waste much green money fighting this pretty weed flower that has so many cheerful and useful purposes besides trying to kill it, because he wants the perfect lawn - no weeds.  Man gets his dander flying faster than a speeding bullet and wants that beautiful flower eradicated from his eyesight.  One perky flower is all it takes for herbicide men to start spreading weed killers to appease the homeowners disgust.
     To children the tall yellow flowers are picked and presented to mothers - the first spring bouquets of their love.  It's the only flower children can rightfully pick without being scolded.  Mom's should put them in a flower vase and not empty peanut butter jars.  A dandelion flower keeps mom young, too, when she's been cooped up in the house during our longer than normal winter. 
     Spring finally arrived in Michigan on April 23rd in the bright afternoon sun with the blossoming of Forsythia flowers. Our 114 inch snowfall is but a bad memory of a hard winter of numbing cold and deep snow.   Before I continue I'm going to let George Santayana, the Spanish-born philosopher and poet who spent many years at Harvard (1889-1911) and Oxford explain what sets in motion "Spring."
     When Santayana came into a sizable legacy, he relinquished his post on the Harvard faculty.  His classroom was packed for his final appearance and Santayana in true passion did himself proud.  He was concluding his remarks when outside the window he saw a Forsythia beginning to bloom in a patch of muddy snow.   His speech stopped abruptly.  His eyes were fixed upon the yellow blossoms and he stooped down and picked up his hat, gloves and walking stick and walked towards the door.  There he turned around and said, "Gentlemen," he said softly, "I shall not be able to finish that last sentence.  I have just discovered I have an appointment with April."   It's called Spring.
     Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist was teaching class when he spotted a bright Forsythia blooming outside the classroom window.  He stopped lecturing on mathematical formulas just long enough to pick up his hat and coat, opened the window, turned around and sat on the window ledge and bid his students goodbye.  He had a date with Spring. 
     I guess sometimes we've just got to act a little bit crazy and stop our merry-go-round lives and enjoy the sights and fragrances on the first day of Spring.  It makes mankind act irresponsible, but it resets his course for a new beginning.
     As the warming sun increases ground temperatures new Dandelion greens are appearing and bud formations are setting, and I say, "Oh, the perils of men spotting shark tooth Dandelion greens in his perfect luxury lawn."  He knows what will happen.  His blood boils at the first sight of yellow.  
     Wow!  Homeowners go practically insane and as nuts they'll expound volumes to the herbicide men that what they apply isn't working.  What most men don't understand is that there are three different species of Dandelions that bloom from April to November and no other weeds will grow next to it.  This weed exudes ethylene gas that discourages other weeds from growing next to them.  Kill them only lets other undesirables take their place if they don't remove the plant.  It's a vicious cycle to keep a lawn of green in Spring.
     The "Yellows of Spring" are here and that includes Daffodils (Lent Lily), Tulips and Marsh Marigolds (Elkslip-favorite food of elk-only), Forsythias and Dandelions (Priest's-crown).  The later is the scourge of over obsessive men like our Pastor VanderWest who dislikes, I should say, hates the most beautiful flower God created.  I've been known to pick a Dandelion stalk with flower and place it under his windshield wiper.  I just can't help myself.  My halo still flickers.  If he were a cat his back would bristle at the sight or feel of a Dandelion flower under his feet. (to be continued).

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