Is It a Weed Or a Flower plus

Dandelions are on my mind once more. During a recent conversation with my son he was telling me about the hours of work pulling up dandelions in his yard. And worse, he didn’t get them all. He was not impressed when I explained that I love a field of dandelions—all that brilliant yellow. I climbed up on my soapbox and told him about a blog post I wrote three years ago on the dandelion. I clipped part of that post and pasted it below.

Is it a weed or a flower?

When I was a girl of 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 giant 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 blue vase, and as happy as I was, my heart sank when I later overheard her friend use the word, weeds. “Dandelions are weeds.”

So the question is, when is a weed, not a weed?

There are two points of view:

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.

In other words, it can be either depending on your point of view. I am with Walt on this matter.

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.

I recall a long walk with my granddaughter in the experimental farm gardens. We rounded a corner, and there it was, a field of gold. She kindly joined me in my enthusiastic praise for the humble dandelion. Ultimately it may be where the dandelion lives. Dandelions look great in abundance, whether in a field or a hillside. Maybe less so in a yard where a few scraggly dandelions pop up. (I give dandelion detractors that)

In truth, I love flowers and the dandelion is one more flower in my books.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Sometimes Things Work Out (the plus)

“It’s funny how things work out sometimes.”- Author: Anthony Horowitz

Today a number of wonderful things worked out. My cousin’s pathology report was better than expected and that is great news. Another wonderful person about to start aggressive and life-saving treatments is feeling fully supported in the penthouse at Tom Baker Cancer Centre. And I was on a visual high because everywhere I drove, walked and looked, there was a splurge of colour. Furthermore, I had one of those days where joy kept bubbling up unbidden. It’s nothing you can force and there was no particular reason that it arrived today, but there it was. Bubbling away like a clear, cool spring of water just below the surface and refreshing my entire body-mind.

Remember this poem?

Sometimes – by Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
the sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Isn’t it a gift when the pathology report has good news – what a surprise; cancer hasn’t spread, even locally. The treatment worked this time. No one was hurt. I got the job. We saved our marriage. We kept our home. The kids are ok. The book got written. The crops got harvested. We became friends. The event succeeded. Everyone came. The plane was on time.

We don’t ignore problems since they need our attention. But we can easily ignore what works. We can take the good for granted. Every time we notice the good and spend a little time with it, according to neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson, we strengthen our neural pathways to gravitate more often toward what is working.

“By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience – even the comfort in a single breath – you’ll help turn a passing mental state into lasting neural structure.” Dr. Rick Hanson


1:) The photos are local today; imagine the enjoyment I have taking them.

2:) “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” Rachel Carson

3:) An old Blessing from John O’Donohue with a new backdrop. Because it was recently Mother’s Day, I invite you to listen to this poem/blessing that he wrote for his Mother. His Irish lilt is soothing and beautiful. Click here

4:) Many thanks for your notes and comments and for simply showing up here to read this blog post. I am excited to receive notes requesting a letter in your postal box, per last week’s blog. I have started, and since my announcement last week, two are in the mail. (It’s a start) May you all have many joyful moments and lots of beauty to sink into during this gorgeous month. With appreciation, Trudy


8 replies
  1. Jean
    Jean says:

    All in the eye of the beholder. Hopefully on the days we will like a weed,someone sees and tells us we are a geautiful flower. loved the poem and I am living vicariously through you at tulip festival enjoy,trudy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      What a sweet thought dear Jean. Thank you. I will admire the gorgeous tulips on your behalf.
      Warmest wishes, trudy

  2. Carol+Ingells
    Carol+Ingells says:

    Trudy, thank you as always for your good wisdom. However, tonight I was unable to access your blog from the email. I finally went to your website and found it there. I know some things have changed, but maybe you can guide me in navigating the changes. And I love dandelions, too!

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi Carol. When A Weber made that change I wondered if readers might find it difficult to read my blog. There is only one link and it is way at the bottom of the email. It no longer says “read more” rather you click the title of the blog. I copied that section to show you here. Please go back to your email and try again. If it doesn’t work I would appreciate you letting me know.thanks so much for your perseverance. With appreciation, Trudy

      Is It a Weed Or a Flower plus

      Wikipedia describes a weed as “a plant that is considered undesirable in a particular…
      By: T Boyle
      May 18, 2022

      • Carol+Ingells
        Carol+Ingells says:

        Yes, that worked, Trudy. There was small print above it that led me to think that was the end of the email. When I kept scrolling, I found the right place and it worked fine. Thanks

      • T Boyle
        T Boyle says:

        I found it confusing myself Carol when I opened the first email under the new system. Thanks for experimenting. 😊

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi Janice. I love that poem – brand new to me and Ted Kooser is a favourite poet of mine. Surprisingly, I don’t have a collection of his work. Thanks so much for posting this. Gentle hugs, Trudy


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *