Every spring it appears, stubbornly pushing up through edge of the paving stones. She has tried to eradicate that dandelion for decades, but still, it comes back each year, among the first harbingers of spring. It looks so silly there, all alone right at the front of her house; a bright yellow splash against the red brick. She cuts it down, or tries to dig it out, but a few days later, it blossoms again.
This year, she will not fight it. She will honour its strength, and its tenacity. They have been spring companions for forty years. Surely it is time to make peace. It first sprang up in the dark years, when stubbornness and faith were all she had to carry her from day to day. How she disrespected that plant and the young woman she was. She blamed her for not being as beautiful or as wise or as competent as she should have been.
What were either of them worth? In that time, a dandelion was no more than a weed and she was little more than a failure in her own eyes and, she knew, before others. But still, the scrap of golden sunshine and that young woman hung on. They persisted through hot summer days that were dry and desiccating and frigid days of fall. They survived arctic winters and, as soon as the sun began to hold as much warmth as light, they pushed back to the surface and bloomed again.
Now she knows that weed is worthy of respect. The leaves hold valuable nutrients and the sweet flower is food for the bees that will transform it into honey. She honours the grit it takes for that little creation to keep on coming back year after year, to bloom again and again despite attempts to annihilate it.
And she honours the young woman who did not cut and run. She sees her, sitting at the piano, playing the one hymn she knew how to play. “It Is Well With My Soul” she played, badly and repeatedly, until she could believe it for one more day and sometimes for one more hour. She got up morning after morning, in pain of body and soul and did the best she could. She continued to believe the God she could not find in the dark, was still there. And she loved her husband and children, as inexpertly as she played that piano, but with the same stubborn tenacious passion and the best she could.
Eventually, the yellow of the flower does fade, even as the old woman’s life begins to move quietly into its later years. Soon, a gossamer sphere will replace the golden brightness and the wind will whisper, and the seeds will venture far from their stark beginning.
And the seeds of who she has been will scatter too. She prays that as they do, they will find ground to root and grow. It will not even need to be very good ground. Dandelions that grow through the cracks in the stone have the vitality to sprout almost anywhere. Dogged faith and deep love were the coils wrapped into the DNA of her soul. The good Creator of the seeds will make those same coils the inheritance of the golden flowers that will sprout from the scattered seeds. And, she trusts, the Holy Wind that breathed creation into being will send the seeds where they need to be.