Dandelions, snails and milkweed are wonder-full

snailI just came in from digging dandelions out of my front lawn. You might think this would be a curse-word inducing experience, but not so. I dug those dandelions out of my front lawn reverently.

Some kids helped to give me a new perspective on these determined plants.

One morning last year I took my Sunday school class outside for a “Wonder Walk.” As we explored our grassy areas and the NCC property nearby, I encouraged the children to consider the two sides of wonder. I asked them to celebrate the things in the world that they thought were wonder-full, and I encouraged them to wonder about things they didn’t know.

The children found wonder in some big, easily noticeable things like motorcycles, our Ottawa city bike paths, and trees. But their search for wonder also prompted them to stop and examine their surroundings closely. They celebrated many things that would normally have passed unnoticed, like a bee in the wildflower garden and a snail still in the shell. We peeled open a milkweed pod and touch the silky white seeds. We invited the monarch butterflies to find the milkweed cluster.


The children also wondered about many things we take for granted. The hydro tower, for example. How exactly does hydro work? I celebrate the light that comes on in my house when I flick a switch, but I can only describe in broad terms how the power gets there. Water is involved, I know that much.

Dandelions peppered the grass beneath our feet that day. We bent close and marvelled at the intricate yellow flowers. We respected the dandelions ability to persist. We appreciated dandelions as food.

Yes, the kids and I agreed, dandelions are wonder-full.

They don’t bother me, and I dig them out of my lawn out of respect for my neighbours, who don’t enjoy them quite as much. But my new perspective makes the job a little easier. Each one I dig up gets a little nod of respect, because I know I’ll never win the battle. No matter how thorough I might be, there will always be one dandelion more.

And that is pretty darned wonder-full.


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