The other evening my kids and I walked to the park. My four-year old daughter ran ahead through the dandelion-filled field, laughing with abandon. She ran back to me and held out a treasured handful of bright yellow blossoms.
“Here Mommy! Aren’t they beautiful?”
Her seven-year old brother sniffed disdainfully. “They are just weeds.”
My daughter, the free spirit, turned and ran back through the field. Her reply was tossed carelessly over her shoulder. “No, they are beautiful weeds.”
It struck me that she was right. The field was blanketed with yellow flowers, and it was beautiful. It was also somehow more appealing than a lawn of monotone green could ever be.
It made me wonder; what is it we have against these sunny yellow flowers? Not only are they quite pretty as flowers, but the seed heads are just plain fun. What kid hasn’t enjoyed blowing with all their might to see if they can set every last seed free? It is rather like blowing out the candles on Nature’s birthday cake. Yet somehow they have been deemed unworthy by society, which has set solid, uninterrupted green as the ideal we should aspire to: solid, boring, green. No dots of color, no puffy white balls of seeds, no texture, just a sea of sameness.
At seven, my son has already been indoctrinated. Not too long ago he would have joined his sister in her carefree race through the colorful field. Now he knows better. Now he knows they are “weeds”. How much enjoyment has that label taken from his world? How much enjoyment have we taken from ourselves when we let “society” dictate that things as harmless as these little flowers are unacceptable and must be wiped out? There is no real value that I can see in uniform green lawns, but listening to my daughter’s laughter the other evening; I have begun to wonder if there is a price.