As a young girl, how I loved to blow the puff of a dandelion while I made a wish. And the bright yellow flowers were so nice sprinkled about the lawn when I was growing up. I remember being told I shouldn’t like dandelions because they were weeds. And, though I secretly enjoyed the seed carrying wisps and the bright yellow blooms, I did not share this with lawn lovers in my neighborhood.
But in a pandemic, in a concrete jungle, flowers of any kind can brighten my walks. So, as I was spending a work break by walking on the East River esplanade, I smiled when I came across some dandelions. I have a deep appreciation for dandelions in this pandemic. Seeing them is a bright spot during these difficult days. Not only do they bring me back to my childhood, but they also connect me to the present.
Dandelions remind me that the value of an experience is based on context. In the context of the Coronavirus, a flash of color is a small gift. In the context of suburban lawns of the 60s, that same weed was a scourge on manicured properties. Context really matters these days. When we think of caring for ourselves, and perhaps those we love, getting through a pandemic may present new pathways to our well-being. We may have hit our saturation point of plowing through. Now we have to embrace the weeds of the past, both literal and metaphorical, as we wind our way on the twisted Covid-19 road. Where once I might have called myself lazy for taking a day to rest with so much to get done, these days, indulging in a respite is a loving act I can give to myself.
Let’s bring out the weeds. Make a bouquet of them. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy the wild flowering plants in these turbulent times.
Self Care Tips:
- Make a wish. If you’re not able to wish on a dandelion puff, write your wish down and put it in a secret place where you might forget about it for a while.
- Actively listen. See if you can listen from a place of curiosity. Instead of adding what you know to the conversation, see if you can learn something new from the person speaking.
- Be willing to be wrong. We open up and grow if we are not attached to being right.
- Make one small change that leads to a larger change. That could mean taking out your yoga mat so that you might stretch someday soon, or it could mean you open up a new document so that you can write something you’ve been meaning to write. Or, you buy an ingredient for a recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
- Whether you need inspiration or a short break, go to YouTube and search for someone who makes you smile and watch a brief video of their words, song, dance, or other offerings.