In Reward of the Dandelion

Again within the thirteenth and 14th century Raymond Lull developed a method of categorising the hierarchy of relationships that existed between God and all of his creation. Lull used the metaphor of a ladder or stairway to do that. The thoughts ‘ascends the analogy of being’ and because it does so it contemplates the relationships that God has arrange between himself and all of his creations. This contemplation would have been centred on passages from the Bible, akin to this from Genesis: 1:26–28.

‘God blessed them, and God mentioned to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the ocean and over the birds of the air and over each dwelling factor that strikes upon the earth’

On this passage from Genesis, God is giving human beings the authority to have dominion over each different dwelling factor and that signifies that Jews and Christians have for over 2,000 years been taught that crops just like the dandelion are a step or two beneath ourselves on the ladder of being. 


The truth that sure crops have been traditionally understood as meals, textile materials, cash, spiritual objects, ornaments or weeds speaks to the numerous socio-economic variables at play of their categorisation; their names generally preserving traces of their numerous social lives. With this in thoughts, together with a really explicit private purpose, the story of dandelions, and their ambiguous existence on the border between weeds and meals, turns into one thing that begins to open out for myself a number of avenues inside which to develop visible innovations. 

Maybe I ought to elucidate my private affiliation with dandelions. It’s twofold and complicated however all of the extra wealthy subsequently in its potential. My father was an obsessive garden maintainer. He was a kind of individuals that enjoyed to see an immaculate garden in entrance of the home, as if it was an indication of the ordered home behind it. I used to be taught to mow the garden in straight traces, in order that the grass was at precisely the precise size and bent over at a specific angle in order that the garden’s stripes, lined up with the home’s axis. 

It was a time when boys up till the age of 12 nonetheless needed to put on brief trousers

A pleasant striped garden

In addition to to mow the garden, my job was to weed it. Dandelions have been for my father a specific risk and so they have been simple to identify, a tiny spot of yellow was for my father an eyesore and to maintain him pleased, I learnt to maintain a watch out for them. I used to be taught to make use of Weedol and would pour it onto any overseas plant that threatened to disturb the garden’s homogeneity and as these have been two of essentially the most resented duties my father compelled on me, each mowing and weeding grew to become inextricable from my concept of what he represented. (Sure I’m conscious of Freud’s Oedipus advanced) A few years later I used to be to get a telephone name to inform me he had died, he had had a coronary heart assault when mowing the garden. My mom’s mom, my grandmother, lived in a village and was deeply attuned to the pure world and yearly we might go strolling within the native fields and would decide dandelion heads, in order that she may make dandelion wine. This was a joyous expertise, as a substitute of a chore it was a number of enjoyable and was a time of immersing myself on the planet of tall grasses that ticked your legs and felt heat as you rolled down banks lined in what my dad would have considered weeds, however which my gran knew as crops with tales. These two alternate visions have stayed with me all through my life and nonetheless affect my view of the world and our relationship with it. The dandelion for myself, representing a spotlight round which these two opposing realities moved. What I am suggesting right here is that when seeking to develop work round one thing, it’s usually helpful to discover a private relationship to the topic. This may occasionally after all enable others to accuse you of creating your strategy too subjective, however for myself, it has all the time been a necessary facet of why I am bothered to make work concerning the issues I do. 

In my father’s thoughts the human / plant relationship was one in every of alerts about property and possession. He didn’t need any ‘weeds’ to dilute his indicators to neighbours that he was in complete management of his home life. He owned the home and managed what was allowed inside its boundaries. However my father was not alone in his pondering. A fast search of the Web will reveal a number of how to eradicate weeds from lawns, hundreds of thousands of dwelling house owners nonetheless wanting to make sure their immaculately saved lawns are free from overseas invaders. There’s a excellent article on lawns by Krystal D’Costa that was printed in Scientific American, ‘The American Obsession with Lawns’, in it she states;

“Lawns are seen as an indicator of socio-economic character, which interprets into property- and resale values. Lawns are indicative of success; they’re a bodily manifestation of the American Dream of dwelling possession. To have a nicely maintained garden is an indication to others that you’ve the time and/or the cash to assist this attraction. It signifies that you just care about belonging and wish others to see that you’re like them.” (D’Costa, 2017) 

The dandelion turns into, not simply a few steps down the ladder of being, as in Lull’s medieval hierarchy of relationships, however an financial risk to property and resale worth. A mirrored image of the gradual erosion of the Christian faith and its worth methods and alternative by capitalism and its worth methods.

There are dandelion tales which were informed time and again and in many various languages, widespread tales that belong to everybody and these tales include inside them different units of values, within the case of the next story a extra communal concept is fostered, may it maybe counsel that the dandelion be celebrated for its socialist beliefs? 

This story has been informed many instances, generally it’s an angel that does the judging and at different instances fairies, however whichever model of the story you’ll hear, it’s all the time one which celebrates the virtues of a flower that appears to have the ability to develop virtually anyplace and that has edible, roots, leaves and a flower that makes for tasty wine.

Lengthy, way back, the flowers and their fairies had been having lengthy ongoing talks and discussions as to which was essentially the most lovely, essentially the most particular and subsequently essentially the most cherished flower. The talks went on for a lot of weeks and finally an argument began; each flower sooner or later claiming to be essentially the most lovely and essentially the most particular. Lastly, after a lot misery and shedding of petals all the flowers agreed to let the Flower Fairies resolve. The Queen of the Flower Fairies was a good, light and type spirit and so the fairies turned to her and requested her to settle the difficulty and to present one plant her blessing and the title of the “most excellent” flower. At first she refused the duty, she informed the flowers that they have been all fantastic and mentioned to the opposite fairies, “They’re all lovely in their very own method.” However the bickering started once more and she or he may see that there was not going to be an answer till all of them had a solution.

The Fairy Queen had concepts of her personal about magnificence and what was particular and she or he subsequently determined to check every flower by asking them one query. She had all the time understood that it was solely by contemplating the wants of others and the relationships between every little thing that we may change into conscious of how delicate and fantastic the delicate nature of existence was and her query was designed to search out out if the flowers had ever themselves considered these items. Though she cherished them dearly, she had all the time had a suspicion that they cherished themselves slightly an excessive amount of and that they not often considered how a lot their magnificence relied on the efforts of others.

The primary flower the Fairy talked to was the rose. “What’s your ambition?” she requested. “I want to climb the fort wall.” mentioned the rose. “After which kings and queens and nobles would go by on a regular basis and exclaim over my magnificence, my scent and my delicate nature.” The Flower Fairy Queen nodded her head and thanked the rose, after which moved on.

Subsequent she got here to a tulip, standing tall and proud. “What’s your ambition?” she requested the tulip. “I need to dwell in a public backyard” mentioned the tulip. “The place on a regular basis individuals would come and admire my fantastic colors and see how straight and tall I stand.” As soon as once more, the Flower Fairy Queen nodded her head and after thanking the tulip, she moved on.

She walked till she got here to a forest. There she discovered some violets. She requested them “What’s your ambition little violets?” “Oh” mentioned the violets quietly “We prefer it right here hidden within the woods the place nobody can see us and the place the timber preserve the solar from dulling our lovely color.” As soon as once more, the Flower Fairy Queen nodded her head and after thanking the violets, she moved on. She then talked to the tiger lily who informed her how wild and fierce it was, of the way it needed to be the strongest and bravest of all of the flowers. She talked to the sunflower who barely answered her as a result of all she needed to do was be warmed by the solar. The Queen talked to the orchids who solely needed to bop and she or he tried to speak to the narcissus however it was too busy it is reflection within the water to talk to her.

The queen walked on talking to flower after flower, every one filled with self regard however of little consciousness of the wants of others or of how and why they’d themselves change into such lovely issues.

After many months of questioning the Earth she was changing into nervous, was there no flower that understood the world in an analogous method to herself? She was prepared to surrender and go dwelling when she got here to a discipline with brilliant fluffy yellow flowers on lengthy skinny stalks. The leaves have been lengthy and jagged and really near the bottom and the flowers seemed pleased and cheerful. “What are you known as?” she requested? “I’m a dandelion” mentioned the little flower. “What’s your ambition little dandelion?”, she requested, simply as she had all the opposite flowers that she had come throughout. “I would wish to dwell wherever there are others. I need to dwell beside the highway, and within the meadows, and push up between the sidewalks within the cities, and make pals with snails and flies and beetles and worms and different crops and mushrooms and algae and birds. I would like all issues to really feel happier after they see my brilliant colors, after they really feel the skinny fingers of my roots tickle them, after they see my juicy leaves and style how scrumptious I’m.” The dandelion chattered on fortunately saying, “I need to be the primary flower that youngsters decide within the spring and take to their moms. I need to carry needs on the wind and change into a part of everybody’s life.”

Ultimately the Flower Fairy Queen started to smile once more, she nodded her head and mentioned “Little dandelion, you’re the most excellent and particular flower of all and also you shall have your want! You’ll blossom all over the place from spring till autumn and be often called everybody’s flower.” Because of this the dandelion comes so early and pushes its head up all over the place with such energy and willpower; and why it’s so cherished by different crops and soils, who provide it hospitality all year long.

So while you see a dandelion peeping out between the cracks in paving stones, sitting in alongside the too neat grasses of a manicured garden, or just holding on to what can be a naked patch of waste floor if it wasn’t round, bear in mind that it’s the most particular of flowers and blessed by the Flower Fairy Queen and in the event you do not deal with it with the utmost respect she’s going to know this and can bear in mind you and that’s one thing you actually do not need to occur.