They do this groundbreaking (what's the opposite of a pun? well, whatever it is, it's intended ;-) ) thing here in Switzerland...
...they DON'T KILL THEIR DANDELIONS.
I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a field of Dandelions in the States.
Between compulsive lawn-mowing in the name of... order? beauty? ease? why ever else you all feel the need to control your grass so fervently... & round-up, the robust health of spring as embodied by the powerful, bright (and may I add, MEDICINAL AF) Dandelion is never allowed to fully blossom.
Dandelion, despite it's life-sustaining nectar (for bees), symbiotic & supportive root systems, & brilliant sunny color, is classified a "weed" and therefore painstakingly eradicated from lawns all across America. In the cases where pesticide is used to kill these kickass floral friends, the damage sustained to the planet runs a lot deeper than just the mere eradication of a weed (toxins in the water run off, destruction of the insect populations, etc.). This should be obvious, but I'm spelling it out for those new to ecology.
Weeds are a classification of hearty plant that require no cultivation to grow. Where their seeds land, they sprout. For folks tending a garden, weeds can be a nuisance because of their tenacity & detrimental tendency to take over any & all available real estate. But not all plants that arrive without effort, take root, & bloom are weeds…
For example, when a "weed" shows up in a neutral space, is it still a weed? When a flower blooms unbidden or a fruiting plant (blackberry, for example; or marijuana) arrives unprompted to bear fruit, to share its life, is that flower or fruit truly a weed? When something you didn’t plant moves into your land & winds up bringing you deep joy, is it a weed then?
Or is it something else?
These are the questions I've been pondering as I've been taking my daily run through these hideous, weed-infested fields ( ;-p ). And these questions, of course, are getting me thinking about where else we might pre-maturely kill off something because it's weed-reminiscent...
Namely, I'm thinking about the human psyche (occupational hazard).
I think Dandelions received their “weed” designation because some dude, one time, found them ugly or too resilient. Or maybe his kid got stung by a bee. Or maybe there actually is something aesthetically pleasing about a perfectly trimmed, undifferentiated, unnaturally green square of grass in front of you house (if there is, someone please explain it to me, because try as I might, I just don’t get it)… but the fact remains, Dandelions ARE NOT WEEDS.
They are cute. They are medicine. They are bee-feeders. They are planetary detoxifiers. They are not weeds.
They are resilient. They are hearty. They are tough. They are not weeds.
So… if dandelions are actually deep medicine for all walks of life… what are the “weeds” you’re carrying that you’ve designated a weed just because your neighbors kill theirs with round-up? What are the parts of yourself that you’ve let society tell you are ugly, worthless, overgrown, unkempt?
Have you killed off all of your psychic dandelions? Have you let a field of wildflowers go barren? Have you brought in poisons—self-hatred, harsh criticisms, “what will the neighbors think?!”, and life-murdering self-sabotage—to systematically remove all trace of the wild from your soul?
I know I sure as hell have.
Because at one point I thought I wanted a stupidly perfect front lawn just like everyone else.
But running around in these “weeds” all the damn time—not to mention drinking tea from the roots, eating the leaves, & talking to the bees as they buzz merrily between each pollen-laden bloom—has me thinking its time to do away with my inner voices of perfectionism.
Because I’m a miutherfucking dandelion, yo.
And so are you.