Dandelions or Daisies?

“You cannot forget if you would those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.” Henry Ward Beecher quotes (Liberal US Congregational minister, 1813-1887)

Daisies by Mary Oliver


It is possible, I suppose that sometime
we will learn everything
there is to learn: what the world is, for example,
and what it means. I think this as I am crossing
from one field to another, in summer, and the
mockingbird is mocking me, as one who either
knows enough already or knows enough to be
perfectly content not knowing. Song being born
of quest he knows this: he must turn silent
were he suddenly assaulted with answers. Instead
oh hear his wild, caustic, tender warbling ceaselessly
unanswered. At my feet the white-petalled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece, their - if you don't
mind my saying so - their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in the roots. What do I know?
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain; what the sun lights up willingly;
for example - I think this
as I reach down, not to pick but merely to touch -
the suitability of the field for the daisies, and the
daisies for the field.


 Anybody who loves to garden or anyone who even begrudgingly mows a lawn knows the difference between dandelions and daisies.  A dandelion is classified and reviled as a weed, while a daisy has a beloved reputation albeit a more delicate constitution. 


Have you ever tried to get flowers to grow even though God in His great wisdom chose not to bestow the coveted green thumb upon you?  It can be a costly and frustrating endeavor. 


You water, fertilize and wait.  You cultivate and transplant, curse and cry and if you are lucky, your flower bed might be gracious enough to bring forth one or two precious blooms. 


Have you ever tried to eradicate dandelions from your garden?  The pesky little boogers would grow in Death Valley in the middle of July!  You can squash them, pluck them, douse them with weed killer and still they come back time after time.  You can almost hear a devilish laughter somewhere in the distance as you walk outside with your coffee on a crisp Sunday morning to survey the lawn you so carefully maintain and see yet another dandelion or three popping their merry little heads out of the grass where just yesterday… there were none. 


Dandelions grow fast and they grow strong with flowers as yellow as the sun on a cloudless day.  Why oh why can’t our delicate little daisies fare as well?


I like to draw analogies between the countenance of women and the traits of dandelions and daisies.  They just seem to fit together well.  Women at the core of their being are either dandelions or daisies.  Both have a beautiful flower do they not?  Yet while one type of flower can take punishment and keep popping back up time after time, the other needs a bit more care to thrive. 


There have been days after giving up the fight with the dandelions that I have looked at my lawn awash with yellow polka-dots and thought it the most beautiful sight.  I have also had the pleasure of enjoying a flower garden that has been lovingly maintained over many years.  Which one is better?  Which one could I say was more satisfying?  Which flower best describes who I am deep inside?


My first instinct is to say that I am a daisy.  Not because it seems to be the more pleasing of the two but, because I consider myself weak in certain aspects of life.  I have always said that I wouldn’t have made a very good pioneer woman.  You know the type… They squat down and push out their babies, tie them to their backs and keep on working.  That’s a bit of a rough image but, you know what I mean. 


I could never have delivered my children in a field but, that doesn’t make me weak.  Maybe I need to adjust my analogy and broaden the definition a little.  Women... or men for that matter, have strengths of varying degrees at different times.  So if you’re having a bad day and need a bit more tending… ask your gardener for some extra care.  Maybe you feel so strong that you could be stomped on and it wouldn’t phase you… take advantage of your sunny day and conquer the world.  After all the world can’t have too many of either one.   Dandelion or daisy pick your flower, pick your day…


Peace to you from






amberfire   amberfire wrote
on 5/12/2008 7:59:15 PM
I like dandelions they are such a useful plant it's just most people don't know it. They were actually imported here in our early history as a staple. Guess that makes me a dandelion. But daisies are pretty too!

Voice_of_a_Dreamer   Voice_of_a_Dreamer wrote
on 5/10/2008 1:08:41 PM
Today I feel like alfalfa, but tomorrow I might be a goat head. It really depends on the day for me. I think that in general most people are dandelions, because we keep going, but some days a little pampering is nice. Just a quick back tickle, or breakfeast in bed. I love your sense of humor while still remaining poignant.

Wundrmom44   Wundrmom44 wrote
on 5/10/2008 11:41:08 AM
Wouldn't want you any other way Mr. Firesmith...

Mike Firesmith   Mike Firesmith wrote
on 5/9/2008 8:36:21 PM
I'm a weed. And I like it.

danicpa68   danicpa68 wrote
on 5/9/2008 5:05:33 PM
This is so true. My 3 acres was mowed yesterday. Today the acreage is FILLED with dandelions!! What a wonderful metaphor for life!!

Special Interest
writing Wundrmom44
Skating away on the thin ice of a new day....
Bookmark and Share

You must log in to rate.
Rating: 9.3/10

Just some silly thoughts off the top of my head
© 2014 WritingRoom.com, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED