Is it a weed or a flower?
When I was a girl, about the age of my youngest grandson, who just turned 10, I came upon a field of beauty. I was on my way home from school and took a slightly different route. To my surprise, I saw a big field of yellow flowers. As I came closer, I stopped in my tracks to admire all that beautiful yellow stretching out in front of me. The owner, caught my eye, and I called out to ask if I could pick five flowers for my Mother. To my happiness, he told me to go ahead and pick all the yellow flowers I wanted. Although I didn’t want to take advantage of his generosity, I gathered up a good bouquet and hurried home.
My Mother kindly placed the dandelions in a beautiful short vase and as happy as I was, my heart sank, when I later overheard an adult use the word, weeds. “Dandelions are weeds.”
So the question is, when is a weed not a weed?
Wikipedia describes a weed as a plant that is considered undesirable in a particular place.
Ralph Waldo Emerson described a weed as a plant whose virtue has not yet been discovered.
Consider the lowly dandelion. Imagine my surprise, 35 years later, when first visiting Austria in the spring, and seeing untouched fields of dandelions, in the orchards, especially the wine fields. It appears that the dandelion has a more favourable image in Europe, and in folklore medicine was considered a reliable tonic, amongst many other things.
All of these memories returned this morning, during a beautiful walk in the experimental farm gardens, with my 14 year old granddaughter. We rounded a corner, and in the next instant, was a field of gold. She kindly joined me in my enthusiastic praise for the humble dandelion.
Two hours outdoors in the warmth of the sun did wonders for our spirits. Walking amongst the flowers and trees and meandering the many pathways through the Arboretum provided the perfect backdrop for our easy flowing conversation about the world we now inhabit. The subject matter included loss, disappointment, hopefulness, laughter, possibilities, and beauty. When we were ready to leave we were refreshed and enlivened.
“What is it about the garden that makes it such a place of healing? Perhaps we project hope into it each time we set foot into this place. ‘How wonderful this new plant will be, next season, when it comes into its own.’ we think. How truly amazing that anything will survive because it is too cold or too hot, or there is too much or too little rain. And yet survive it does…” Marjorie Harris
Of all the things we can do right now I think getting outside is top of the list. Whether we are sick, healthy, young or old, if we can possibly manage it, I hope we all do it. It is easy when ennui slips up behind us to ignore the things that we love to do. Things that will make us feel better and more alive.
We have all been clanging pots, for our front-line heroines and heroes, in our own communities, and you will see below why this is important. They all deserve special mention and I will name just two this week.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, Chief Medical Officer, for the province of British Columbia in BC was honoured this week, for being the authority behind North America’s lowest death rate during this public health crisis. “…she was able to galvanize the public across the province…set into motion rapid mobilization and containment and became one of the first in the world to develop a test. She was the scientist to lead the effort and had the authority to issue instructions. (she did this with persuasion, not a stick) PS: she is also the first to caution against complacency, at this time of opening up. We still need to hold the line. Excerpt from Bloomberg Press
Dr. Melissa Umphlett, a pathologist at Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC received a special tribute this week from the Chairman of the Hospital and her colleagues. I am delighted to claim a familial relationship, with Melissa, since she is my cousin’s fiancee. (well, closer than 52nd cousin once removed :-)) Still, we are proud and grateful for Dr Melissa and Dr. Bonnie, along with the worldwide cohort of medical, scientific and entire team of front line workers, we have come to count on. Melissa’s almost sister-in-law, sent me a copy of the award. I think it is important to sing the praises of these tireless workers and I am happy and grateful to do so.
Note: 1) If any of you. dear reader, have a shout out for someone, please send it on to me. When Melissa was asked about the award she said this: “On the days when I can leave work a little earlier, and get to hear all the cheering from the balconies, although it can be emotional, it is completely energizing. It is less about the recognition and just really, really nice to hear everyone cheering and being happy for those moments.”
Note: 2) This photo of the rare Himalayan Blue Poppy was taken in Vancouver on Monday, by my son Rob, at the VanDusen Gardens. I love the blue poppy and thanks to my Step Father I got to grow them for a few years in my garden on Gabriola Island. This beautiful and unique flower arrived at the perfect time to pay tribute to these two leaders.
Note:3) Is it a weed or a flower? Is it better or worse? What will our new normal eventually look like? What if this or that happens? No one knows for certain. We won’t be going back to what was, because life moves forward. Change is a certainty. The door behind our old normal is closed and as a series of new ones open, we will adapt. I am of the mindset that there will always be moments of joy, love, kindness, opportunity and significance. “Let’s cultivate a curious and flexible mind. A mind that adapts itself to changing circumstances.” From Morita Therapy
Note: 4) I received such lovely comments and emails this week, and I appreciate them so very much. Please know that you can ask for things too. I would love to hear what you think and do and what you wish I would do here. We learn from each other. See you next Wednesday, and in the meantime, take care. Enjoy your days. Warmly, Trudy
PS It is Thursday afternoon and one of our readers sent me this lovely photo of a dandelion, taken two days ago. He couldn’t post it in a comment so I am doing it here. You will need to click on it to see the light. Thank you GM