Long before blowing soapy bubbles with a storebought kit, we had dandelions. To this day I cannot say why it was such a childhood delight to pluck the ripe blowball and send the feathered seeds to flight on a silent whistle.
To a yard it’s a weed. Its broad leaves and tall stems disrupt the tranquility of a manicured lawn. To a bee it’s candy. The sunny bloom of the lowly dandelion invites honeybees to partake of its delights. To a person it is a vegetable, so I read.
It’s a wondrous thing that a simple plant could foster such pessimism and optimism. G.K. Chesterton, the British writer and philosopher, recalled his childhood fascination with the dandelion. He used the ubiquitous plant to illustrate the lack of wonder in humans who plod the oblivious path of uninspired lives. Mankind “has no right even to see a dandelion,” he writes, “for he could not himself have invented either the dandelion or the eyesight.”
The things you never consider or take for granted are the very things that would fill your heart with wonder. The rights you assume over your personal choices and worldview, not to mention your body, values, and relationships, betray a great omission – awe of your Creator. Chesterton warned of “the strange and staggering heresy that a human being has a right to dandelions; that in some extraordinary fashion we can demand the very pick of all the dandelions in the garden of Paradise; that we owe no thanks for them at all and need feel no wonder at them at all; and above all no wonder at being thought worthy to receive them.”
What are you to do, finding yourself somewhere along the oblivious path? Look at a dandelion and all its intricate detail and ask how it got here? Ask how you got here? Why do you experience what dandelions cannot – love, emotion, thoughts? You are capable of asking with the philosopher Leibniz, “Why is there something and not nothing?” Raising your awareness of origin and meaning stirs your sense of awe, wonder, and optimism.
The Psalmist captured a transcendent moment of wonder with a lingering glance into a clear night sky. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psa. 8:1,3-4).
And there you have it. The lowly dandelion, the heavenly lights, and all creation conspire to fill your heart with wonder and draw you to the One who is most wonderful. And He cares for you.