The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 20, 2013

The joy of dandelions

Keeping the Faith

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published May 9, 2001. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Although I mowed grass only two days ago, hundreds of tall dandelion puff balls stand at attention all over my yard.

Unlike true lawn enthusiasts, I don’t spend every spare moment spraying weed killer on dandelions or plucking them up by their tough, elastic, seemingly unending little roots.

I heard a story last week about a man who tried frantically to remove every single yellow tuft from his yard. He used every gadget and chemical on the market, but, try as he might, the dandelions found a way to flourish.

Exasperated, the man fired off a letter to an agricultural agent, listing all the things he had done to eliminate the pesky plants and begging the expert for a permanent solution.

A week or so later, the agent replied, “Well, sir, it sounds to me like you may just have to get used to having a few dandelions in your yard.”

That’s what I’ve done. I’ve not only made peace with them; I’ve found them to be good object lessons for life.

I actually have a tender spot in my heart for all those bright yellow blooms sprinkled across my yard. They add color, and I have to admire the little scutters for their tenacity. No matter how often I mow them down, they keep coming back, and they don’t seem to hold a grudge.

Dandelions remind me of the balance of good and bad things that help stabilize our lives. The flowers are pretty; the seed balls are a nuisance. You can’t have the pretty color without enduring the pollen puffs that perpetuate new life.

Like dandelions, we each have good traits and bad ones, and our family members and friends must accept the weed that comes with the flower.

Every circumstance and situation has its ups and downs, and every good experience is usually attached to something not so nice.

Amid pain and pleasure we find boundaries, and we learn to practice the give-and-take that is so vital to good relationships.

Dandelions thrive so well because they have deep roots. They remind me to sink my roots deeper into things that really count. Truth, faith, integrity, sincerity, love and generosity are the kinds of anchors I want for my soul.

The plant’s relentless pursuit of life inspires me to keep trying, to keep growing and to remain true to my identity, no matter how many lawnmowers and weed killers come my way.

Those little yellow tufts remind me to capture the joy of each moment. Some blooms, like the joys in life, may not be allowed to flourish more than a day, so I must enjoy them to their fullest while they last.

The plight of the dandelion helps rid me of the need to try to stamp out the unsavory qualities in other people. I’m learning to focus more on the blooms and pay less attention to their unattractive stems and leaves.

As for the dandelions themselves, well, I have lots of them, in my life as well as in my yard.

And you know what? I’m becoming rather fond of all of them.


Text Only
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.


    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.


    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.


    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014