As Long As There Are Dandelions

Young woman giving a dandelion to senior woman with green tree leaves

Treasure the Important Things

In 1988 when I was a mother of two young children, I read this poem in a parenting newsletter.  Its heartfelt message prompted me to snip it from the pages to keep as a special reminder to always treasure the most important but simple things in life. 

At that time, I knew I was blessed to be a mother.  My heart was filled to overflowing with every unexpected memory-making moment and I was thrilled to explore the world through the eyes of my children.  The knowledge that these precious years would rush by in an eye-blink outshone the sleepless nights and endless piles of dirty washing.

My life has gone full circle since then and I now find myself once again in a caring role, but this time for my 88-year-old mother who has dementia and lives with us.  Sometimes I’m wistful as I see my friends exploring the world with the wisdom and freedom that age brings, but I also know that these precious years will also rush by in an eye-blink.

This morning, I came across the little poem kept all those years ago, so now I’m looking for dandelions!  

Today I know I’m blessed to be a daughter, and I’m focussing on every unexpected memory-making moment.  The sleepless nights and endless piles of dirty washing will pass, but I’ll always have my dandelion memories.

So, I decided to share the poem here with you.  I hope no matter what stage of your life you find yourself experiencing, you’ll always have many dandelions.

Dandelions

I look at you, my single friend,

Your clothes all bright and new,

And I wonder how it might have been

If I had stayed like you.

If we were still to share that flat

And go to work each day,

Our only worry in the world –

How to spend next week’s pay!

I can’t help feeling envious

Of your weekends free and happy,

Of your Sunday morning sleep-ins,

How you never change a nappy.

And on our trips down to the beach,

You lie there in the sun,

And while you’re lying, basking,

I sunbake on the run.

We make arrangements, you and I,

To meet and see a show.

I phone, the baby’s teething,

I’m sorry I can’t go.

I just can’t leave him fretful,

You say that it’s okay,

I sit at home, regretful,

Perhaps another day.

And as I’m sitting pensive,

The back door’s thrown wide

And a grubby little person

Comes running from outside.

His shirt is torn, his shorts askew,

His hair is thick and rumpled,

And, in his hand, a dandelion,

It’s petals limp and crumpled.

He climbs up, then, upon my lap,

And looks into my face,

His eyes tell me, in his small world,

This is his favourite place.

He puts his arms around my neck,

(His hands are sticky, too),

He puts his mouth against my ear

and whispers, “I lub you.”

I swap the years of memories

For this one precious minute;

He carefully finds my buttonhole

and puts his flower in it.

And then I know, my single friend,

Though my luxuries may be few,

As long as there are dandelions

I’ll not swap lives with you.

S. Sydney (CEA Toowoomba Newsletter, 1988)

The original poem that I clipped from the newsletter more than 30 years ago.

Short Video

Dandelion Time-Lapse

I think you’ll also enjoy this short time-lapse video of the dandelion transitioning from flowers to seeds by Artur Homan.  Don’t we live in a magical world!

This is a clip from the movie Land of a  Thousand Storks. More on www.homan.pl

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Debbie Bassingthwaighte is a teacher, facilitator and mentor who aspires to live her very best life.  Her passion is to nurture and celebrate the unique and limitless potential of every learner.