Friday, April 18, 2008

Dandelion Days

Dandelione close

Can we all just agree that the humble dandelion is a wildflower, not a weed?

Driving on 'the ring' in Brussels one spring morning I could see the glow of yellow in a median ahead. As I came along side it, I was delighted to find it filled with the biggest, most golden dandelions I'd ever seen.

Wildflowers, like a piece of the sun had fallen to earth.

And yes, a week later the median bed was filled with light, fluffy, white seeds. More wildflowers to come.

Gardening would be easier on everyone if we took delight in dandelions instead of despair.

"Grandpa, are they ready? Now?
Grandfather pinched his chin. "Five hundred, a thousand, two thousand easy. Yes, yes, a good supply. Pick 'em easy, pick 'em all. A dime for every sack delivered to the press!"
"Hey!'
The boys bent, smiling. They picked the golden flowers. The flowers that flooded the world, dripped off lawn onto brick streets, tapped softly at crystal cellar windows and agitated themselves so that on all sides lay the dazzle and glitter of molten sun.
"Every year," said Grandfather. "They run amuck; I let them. Pride of lions in the yard. Stare, and they burn a hole in your retina. A common flower, a weed that no one sees, yes. But for us, a noble thing, the dandelion."
So, plucked carefully, in sacks, the dandelions were carried below. The cellar dark glowed with their arrival. The wine press stood open, cold. A rush of flowers warmed it. The press, replaced, its screw rotated, twirled by Grandfather, squeezed gently on the crop.
"There...so..." The golden tide, the essence of this fine fair month ran, then gushed from the spout below, tho be crocked, skimmed of ferment, and bottled in clean ketchup shakers, then ranked in sparkling rows in the cellar gloom.
Dandelion wine.
The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered.

From 'Dandelion Wine' by Ray Bradbury.

If your creative work this month could be distilled into a fine food or beverage, what would it taste like? What elements would roll around the tongue? What flavors linger?

Would you find your main ingredient to be something others throw away?

4 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

jodi said...

Thanks for visiting, Deb! One of my favourite plants IS the dandelion...because it's so important for bees and other pollinating insects.

and one of my favourite alltime books is Dandelion Wine. I read the first sentence of your excerpt and knew instantly what it was. I flash back to grade 9, when I first discovered Bradbury, and the sweetness of summer days that were full of magic.

Being Beth said...

I too love dandelions. I used to spend hours in the summer making chains out of the stems -- once my girlfriends and I made a chain the length of a block. Good memories.

I've NOT read the Bradbury book, but will do so. YOu'll love this -- I read the first few sentences of the quote and thought, "Wow, Deb's writing is magnificent!!! I knew she could really write, but I've never seen her turn out anything like this." Then I saw it was a quote. Well, it's something to strive for, anyway, huh???

How to describe my creative endeavors this month? Well, perhaps a slow, thick stew, adding a pinch of this and that, a carrot, a turnip, a bay leaf. Let it simmer for a while, taste it, add more salt, simmer some more, taste another spoonfull -- ummm -- can't wait for a bowl of it. Contemplate adding more spice then deciding against it. Guess that sums up the re-write process pretty well, don't ya think?

Rose said...

I don't mind dandelions, as long as they aren't in my garden beds. They can really interfere with the color scheme ya know? LOL!

I've read the 'Illustrated Man' by Bradbury but that's all. I'll have to add this book to my list of books to read someday.

Lorna said...

My daughter is in agreement. She was wearing one in her buttonhole today.