Making Peace with Dandelions by Adele Evershed

As I start the car, the low fuel light comes on, and then the low tire pressure light, alternating in flashing neon, like the start of a migraine. I realize I will have to sort it out now, and this starts the tears again. The radio is tuned to your favorite station, the BBC World Service, "A song can make you an alcoholic or a revolutionary." This is so preposterous I let out a bark of laughter, and I'm shocked by the sound. 

I change channels, a bright female voice says, "Dandelions get bad press. In fact, they're spectacular. Their petals--a lion's mane that magically turns into fairy wings...". 

A man with clipped tones interrupts, "Very poetic, I'm sure, but they do ruin your lawn." And immediately, you are back from the dead--fighting the dandelions, spraying poison like a demented monk sprinkling holy water. Looking over at the grass now, I know you would be proud--it is a green carpet, lush, and oh so dull. 

Over the years, I often thought about leaving you, but always my mother's voice was in my head telling me, "Leave then, see how far you get." And she was right; I'd never been on my own. How would I survive? 

So for the last forty years, I have never gone anywhere without my hand in yours. But, your fingers were always cold, and they dampened me down. 

I feel skittish like a horse without a bridle as I get out of the car and walk over to the verge. I select a giant dandelion clock and make a wish. I blow away the tiny, white parachute seeds. They dance like the blessing of a new beginning before settling all over your perfect lawn. And I know I will be fine.

Published in Issue #22

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