Monday, June 10, 2013

The Dandelion and Change

I'll begin this week's message about a common weed plant known as a dandelion, which crops up in lawns, gardens and fields as if a common intruder.  Most are unwanted and gardeners dig them out, poison them and regard this flower weed as a nuisance, which spoils a carpet of green in their back yard.  I gave up a long time ago and let them have their way with my yard.  I started examining this bright little yellow flower weed and in taking photos, discovered their beauty. Like the domino effect, this led me to research the dandelion and I discovered what a valuable gift I had before me.  This is no common plant.... it's yellow petaled beauty gradually changes to fluffy strands of lacy white seeds, which become airborne in parachute style with any gentle breeze which comes along.

This message will gradually end up into a reflection about change but first, I'd like to list a few things about the dandelion in the hopes that the next time you see one, you will think of all that it does in God's 'thoughts' in the creation of a dandelion and also what it symbolizes.
Dandelion Flower Head
- Strength:   The name 'Dandelion' comes from Dent-de-lion, which is Old French for lion's tooth.   They have long, lance-shaped leaves and are so deeply toothed, they gave this perennial, herbaceous plant this name.  It is a survivor.
-  Endurance & Adaptability:  It is hardy, can live in most soils and grow most anywhere.
-  Enriches:  The deep taproot can break up the earth and bring nutrients up from below.
-  Beneficial:  It is curative and is used as a medicinal plant, rich in vitamins and minerals and also as a source of nourishment in salads, wine and tea.
-  Transforming:  The dandelion changes from yellow petals to white spokes of seeds, ready to become airborne with the wind.
-  Barometer:  It has a built-in barometer, which is common and reliable since it can close before rain or during gloomy weather.  The flower opens with the sun in the morning and closes in the evening. 

It is interesting to note that in theological symbolism, the Dandelion, one of the "bitter herbs", represents the Passion of Christ and grief.  The early Flemish and German schools mainly used this symbol in paintings of the crucifixion.

Dandelion Seed Head
 "There is nothing permanent except change".... Heraclitus 

 "For time and the world do not stand still.  Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future".... John F. Kennedy

The above are several quotes among many regarding change. Change is the cycle of life and comes in many forms... it's a fact of this planet and of nature, of the universe.  We can be affected by change or we can effect change.  As a people, most changes that happen are expected but others enter into our lives as a surprise.   Changes can be in a circumstance or a choice or they are inherent; they can be external or internal; they can be pleasing, bringing joy or difficult, bringing pain.  Change can bring transformation in a dramatic way, as visibly seen in the dandelion, or it can be as subtle and quiet as silence.

Presently, many families are preparing for the change within their home.  Children, now young adults whom parents have raised and nurtured though the years, are now about to embark on their own as they graduate from High School; the first step into their personal journey of change.  They are like the seed head of the Dandelion, ready to fly with the breeze into directions wherever change takes them.  They learn to survive, become stronger, endure and adapt, ripening into maturity.  The ideal is to become enriched and transformed in the process of change to the betterment of themselves and a benefit to others.

Changes are numerous within the seasons of living, ranging from our health, relationships, careers and finances to events that occur either within our control or beyond our control.  And there is so much in-between as change ebbs and flows, decreases and increases in dynamics.  We hear about change of heart, change of mind, and change in attitude.  But there is one constant through it all from James 1:17, which is a favorite scripture of mine....

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change".  

I am so thankful that our Father of Lights changes not; He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He is the "I AM" who is the embodiment of complete wholeness in which there is no lack.  He is our solid ground through shifting and rocky times in the movement of change around and within us.  We can be assured of His eternal strength and infinite peace, which remains changeless and sovereign.   It Is Who He Is.

The above clip is a wonderful Time-lapse sequence of the Dandelion flower filmed by Neil Bromhall over a period of one month from dandelion flower to seed head.  He also has created videos of various flowers in time-lapse sequence, which is beautiful to watch.  The music to this video is Attrition by Debbie Wiseman.
You can view this particular video at:

Thank you Neil  for combining your patience and talent with a camera to capture such beauty to share with the world.  The link to Neil Bromhall's website is:

Join me next Sunday, June 16 at the Turn-Up Patch for a reflection on Father's Day. 


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