Monday, July 7, 2008


A patient gave me a dandelion. And sadly, I killed it. Then she gave me another, and I ignored it. And it is thriving! I'm not sure what the lesson is here.

Before you go thinking I am a bad gardener, let me assure you that I am a horrible gardener. Who inadvertently kills a dandelion? But this plant is unique - not your typical dandelion. In fact, when I tried to do some research I could find nothing like it. I'll take my patient's word that it is indeed a dandelion, though it certainly doesn't look like any I've ever seen. This dandelion is one of a kind.

It got me thinking though, about what separates a weed from a flower. Emerson asked and then responded, "What is a weed? A flower whose virtues have never been discovered."

Well I discovered something spectacular about my dandelion. Every now and then, as it pleases, it blooms a beautiful but simple yellow flower.

At night.

For one night only.

In fact some nights I miss the late show, and only discover it in the morning doing the botanical walk-of-shame, spent from a night out doing god-knows-what with god-knows-whom. (No really - these randy-dandys must know that their nocturnal behaviour will only attract such unsavory pollinators as moths... or bats... eek. Not in MY backyard!)

Then this late bloomer shrivels up and dies.

Surely there is a lesson in this. Something about beauty fading? Or all good things coming to an end? Appreciating what you've got while you've got it?
Enjoying the moment? Seize the day? A good deed is its own reward? Finding beauty where you least expect it?

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it. Maybe there is no lesson, and it is what it is - just a bunch of stuff that happens, an unpopular flowering weed that sometimes blooms at night.

But for what it is worth, it makes me happy. As Ella Wheeler Wilcox said 'a weed is but an unloved flower'. No weeds here!

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