“You cannot forget if you would those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
D and I took a trip to Alaska several years ago. I remember once in the vicinity of the town of Palmer as we were approaching a yak ranch, if I’m not mistaken; ahead of us we saw a lush field with acres and acres of glorious yellow flowers. Imagine our surprise when we got close enough to realize they were dandelions. Weeds? Impossible.
I’m not sure why the image of the dandelion meadow has been on my mind lately. But I usually pay attention when anything–vista, thought, word, person–pops up repeatedly. Why would something back in the recesses of my brain suddenly push its way to the forefront? Subconscious becomes conscious. I don’t know why but you can count on me to analyze it.
I don’t know what the criteria are for declaring a plant a weed but somebody missed the boat with the not-so-humble dandelion. The blossoms are a wonder to behold and you can make a beautiful golden wine with them. My grandmother and my mother used to put the tender new leaves in salads. I think there are also medicinal uses but I don’t know what they are. It’s all about perception, isn’t it?
I love remembering the fun we had on this trip. We rented an RV and traveled around the state at our leisure. We were at ease with ourselves and with each other. And I’m pretty sure more happy than not. From the outside I imagine we looked like a happy couple. And we were, I think. Or were we? I was so blindsided by his notion of a divorce that now when I look back I question everything. I don’t do this too often these days but when I do I can’t help wondering when it all started. Were there nasty ugly weeds in our relationship even then? Did we look like a couple of golden flowers? Is a dandelion a weed?
I’m choosing to simply remember what a great trip we had together. That’s what matters. It was fun. We shopped for local art everywhere we went. We hiked for miles in Denali. We saw lots of bears and eagles and so much more. We thrilled at the sight of Mt. McKinley (Denali) one evening when the clouds lifted. We loved talking with the local people. They must be the friendliest folks on earth. It was a good trip. That was my perception. I hope it’s D’s as well.