an economy of ridiculous regeneration

Posted by on June 9, 2010

rainy day and dandelions

Picking dandelions on a rainy day © 2010 Julia Mason Wickes.

The Dandelion

By Vachel Lindsay

O dandelion, rich and haughty,
King of village flowers!
Each day is coronation time
You have no humble hours.
I like to see you bring a troop
To beat the blue-grass spears,
To scorn the lawn mower that would be
Like fate’s triumphant shears.
Your yellow heads are cut away
It seems your reign is o’er.
By noon you raise a sea of stars
More golden than before.

* * *
I post this poem for my three year-old, who is dandelion-oriented. I have resigned myself to her preoccupation with dandelions. I know that any going out of doors with her will involve at least some portion of time spent dandelion hunting, and things go more smoothly if I just give her the leeway to do this. It used to feel tedious, but more recently, I’ve come to appreciate dandelions and their ridiculous ability to regenerate. Perhaps God put them here for children, who also seem to operate according to a different economy– an economy of hyper-regeneration. Dandelions: I give you my daughter. My daughter: I give you the dandelions. I’ll just stand here and lean on the stroller and zone out behind my sunglasses, if that’s o.k.

Or maybe I am writing nonsense today because I have been thrown into the crucible of single parenting for the last five days. And both of my girls have colds that will not seem to go away. And it has been raining a lot. And I have been reading really intense self-help books that are making me see a lot of terrible things about myself. And every time I look at the NPR website, there is either something about the oil in the Gulf, or how a new study has shown that caffeine is bad for you, and sleep is really good for you. Um, besides duh, I’d like to write a letter that says: Dear scientists, please stop torturing yourselves and humanity with these studies.

Anyway, this is about all I can muster today. Thanks for listening.

Poetry Wednesday

  1. Molly Sabourin
    June 9, 2010

    That is a sweet poem, Julia. I've received many a dandelion bouquet from my kids over the years – bouquets that stay bright and cheery for about seven minutes. : ) I totally understand where you are coming from with the scatteredness you mentioned brought about by single parenting. When Troy was gone last year for a month-and-a-half, I got a touch of the crazies. Pace yourself until Jeff gets home. Yes, zone out sometimes behind those sunglasses and breath deeply.

    Love the photo, by the way!

  2. annajouj
    June 9, 2010

    I love it, Julia! And speaking of NPR, they also reported on emily dickinson's love for Dandelions recently: apparently her gardens have a special place for them. So you can just tell Esme she is destined to produce great poetry herself someday 🙂
    And please do take good care of yourself in parenting land!!!

  3. Jenny
    June 10, 2010

    Oh Julia,

    You crack me up. I can hear you laughing. I would like to be laughing with you, in the same time zone.

    I heard that study on NPR, too, about how sleep is really good for you. Um, yeah, is that actually relevant to those of us who care for small children and don't actually choose when we sleep?

    Also, I love that image of you zoning out behind your sunglasses while Esme courts dandelions.

  4. Kris Livovich
    June 10, 2010

    Sometimes children appreciate the time spent with dandelions more than the other times. Take advantage, zone out, try not to fall asleep standing up.

    We had dandelion fritters a few weeks ago. They were delicious. But I suppose anything battered, deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar will be delicious.

  5. annajouj
    June 14, 2010

    I love it, Julia! And speaking of NPR, they also reported on emily dickinson's love for Dandelions recently: apparently her gardens have a special place for them. So you can just tell Esme she is destined to produce great poetry herself someday 🙂
    And please do take good care of yourself in parenting land!!!