The One Thing About Dandelions

by MitchellRichards

Earlier today, I watched this video of a dandelion blooming, then dying. (Yes, I watch nerdy videos like this on YouTube in my spare time.) I found it interesting that the most beautiful moment in the dandelion’s life is well before it spreads its seed.

I remember when I was little I would pick dandelions up from the ground when they reached that bright yellow and I would gather as many as I could and give them to my mother. I’m sure that this is standard for most children.

But I noticed today that the bloom of the dandelion is almost brief in comparison to its actual lifespan. Time lapse reveals that the bright bloom of yellow is just a speck on the life span of this flower.

Which of course makes me think about life. Void of wasting your time, I want to live like this dandelion. I want my bloom to be brief, I want to be plucked and given as a gift. Except, I guess I want to be replanted quickly because what happens next is the key.

The dandelion must die.

Another standard of childhood was picking the dandelions after they would turn all white and fluffy and blowing on them, exploding the fuzz into the breeze. I didn’t realize at the time that the “fuzz” were actually the seeds of the dandelions, it’s how they survived, it’s how they moved on.

I don’t want to sound…I don’t know…dark, or anything, but I hope to live a life like this as well. I want my flower to bloom, then I die, but in my death I hope to live on. Maybe through my children or grandchildren, maybe just in words on a page or a screen. It seems as though I have some work to do. I don’t think I want to be famous you know, I don’t want to sell millions of books or anything. I think I would be more satisfied with a life well lived.

In the movie “City Slickers” Billy Crystal’s character’s name is ironically Mitch. Instead of me describing, let’s just play the clip:

I’m slowly coming to realize that my “one thing” isn’t what I thought it would be years ago. I’m 25 now, and I think I want to grow up. Have a family. That sort of thing. I’ve always been the baby in my family, which is great because you get away with a lot more and when you have siblings who do awesome things, it cuts you a little slack. I’m learning now that my one thing is to bloom, to live a life well lived, so that in my bright yellow I can live on.

It won’t take selling books to live on. Nor will it take a great invention or my name in bright lights. These things are temporary, a chasing after the wind as the Bible says. But dignity and honor, living up to my namesake, and leaving a legacy are the things that don’t go away so easily. Even hundreds of years from now, my however many great grandchildren will have no recollection of me, no story to bring a smile, but I hope that my bloom is passed down from generation to generation. I hope my seed gets scattered in the wind and replanted. And while they may not know my name, they will share it in legacy because of the life I choose to live now.

I always found it weird that in order for seeds to become something greater, they must die in a sense…