Day 278: Weeds, Wishes, and Wildflowers

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about dandelions the past few days. One thing I’ve learned in that time is that they’re definitely not one of the easiest things in the world to photograph, especially once they’ve gone to seed.

From a distance, they quickly blur into the grassy background. Even close up, they seem like simple balls of fluff that fade into the richer greens behind them. I didn’t even realize the complexity of the nearly omnipresent fluff-balls until I tried my hand at photographing one of them earlier this week (a process that proved to be considerably more challenging than I expected), but in that process, I realized that if you look really, really closely – and really, really carefully – at a dying dandelion, you begin to appreciate the complexity within those seemingly simple balls of seeds.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

To some of us – mostly those who prize a perfect lawn – dandelions are nothing more than weeds – something to be destroyed, another bothersome element in an already unpleasant chore. To some us – mostly those who still hold onto (or try to revisit) their innocence – sometimes they’re wishes, waiting to be made…and sometimes, when we’re feeling more “adult,” they’re just wildflowers. And to some of us – perhaps most us – they’re somewhere in between – something that we don’t really notice at all.

No matter how we feel about them, though, we can’t change them.

We can love them, loathe them, accept them, or ignore them, but we can’t change them (or even really control them).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Life is full of dandelions – and not just the ones that grow on our lawns. Every day, we encounter dozens of them – seemingly simple, seemingly inconsequential experiences that we can love, loathe, accept, ignore, overlook, fail to understand, and fail to appreciate… but that we ultimately can’t change, can’t control, and can’t avoid.

The only thing we can control is how we react to them – and how we allow that reaction to affect the rest of our day: try to turn your head when you start to see the weeds, and let your eyes (and maybe even your heart) linger for a moment to really appreciate (and understand the beauty of) the wishes and wildflowers.

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