The Beauty of Dandelions

Posted by on May 15, 2020 in Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

In the twenty-first century it seems as if we could live, if we wanted to, totally removed from the natural world. We have apparently unlimited technology at our command–we can control nature, change it, design it. Or we can escape it; we can build walls, erect barriers, to keep us separated from the wild. Long ago, it must have seemed to the Pilgrims and pioneers as if they were on a little island of civilization in a threatening sea of wildness, and dandelions were part of their fence to keep the wilderness at bay. Nowadays, it seems as though the wild places are the fragile islands, surrounded by a rising tide of pavement.

But as we painfully discovered during Hurricane Katrina, no dam or levee can finally hold back the surge of nature. The poet Dylan Thomas described “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” and he well might have had in mind the quiet explosion of a dandelion thrusting its way through a crack in the concrete. No weed-whacker or poison yet invented has so far exterminated those determined little flowers–they continue to follow us. As they always have, since time out of mind.


This is an excerpt from my book: The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion. 



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