Dandelions

Holly Varni

April 21, 2022

As a child, one of my greatest delights was to stumble upon a field or neglected yard full of dandelions. The bright marigold yellow flowers were a free gift waiting to be plucked by the fistful to bring to my mother, who would put them into a glass jelly jar. I’d rub their buttery-soft tops all the way home. Once in the jar, they would be placed in the middle of our kitchen table as prominently as a store-bought bouquet.

The dandelions would add a splash of color to the kitchen for a couple days, always making me smile. Once they withered, I knew there were countless more dandelions to pick outside, so this cycle continued all throughout the summer. Like a treasure hunt, the task kept me busy until the season was over and the dandelions’ golden heads transformed into what seemed like magical balls of fluff. The soft cotton heads begged to be blown on.

I’d sit by the hour and blow on the orbs watching the white fluff fly into the air, and imagine the little spires of seeds being carried off in the wind to far-off places. I knew that once the seeds landed they would produce new dandelions. This childhood memory is what came to me recently when I thought about a certain friendship in my life. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my all my years, it is that friendships also have seasons.

I have a friend who at one point I considered to be very dear to me. But we’ve grown apart and I no longer feel that way. Whatever bound us together before is gone, and the relationship no longer is giving. By that I mean it no longer gives me joy or comfort, beauty or sustenance. This person has no clue what is going on in my family let alone my heart, and at this age I don’t have the time or energy for shallow exchanges. So, I’ve decided that instead of feeling sad about it, I’m going to let her go.   

Like the dandelions I gathered, held onto, and enjoyed, I did the same with many people in my life. However, unlike the dandelions I blew away, I neglected to realize that some of my friendships have expired and need to be set free to transplant somewhere else.

You may think that sounds harsh, but it isn’t really. What would be sad is to not allow myself to experience the next season. Moving on from a relationship is like blowing the seeds in a new direction. My friend may be more useful to another person, so I close my eyes and gently blow our friendship off into the wind, wishing her a wonderful journey. In doing this, it allows me to move on also. As a child, after there weren’t any more dandelions to be found or scattered, I knew the surprises of fall with the colorful leaves would be different but just as glorious. I still think back to my days in the dandelion fields with fondness, but oh, have I discovered so many other beautiful flowers! All it took was for me to release the withering ones in my hand.   

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