by Megan Cate
Dandelions are technically an invasive weed. Many think they are lawn nuisances and dedicate the spring and summer to killing them in any way possible. While dandelions may die and stay out of your lawn, there is usually one straggler whose bud peeks its way up in a driveway crack or other remote location.
When my sister, Allison, and I were young (under 4 years old), we spent hours outside our rural home in Capac, Michigan. One of our fondest memories is of our dandelion picking contests. On the count of three, we would run off like mad dogs with our little feet padding atop the rocky, dry, terrain we called a lawn. Sharp rocks, pricker-bushes, and the occasional crab-grass patch didn't cause a moment's hesitation in our competition . We galloped, snagging any and all dandelions that crossed our path. Too many for our mini-hands to hold.
After it was all said and done, we would sit in the field and rub the yellow buds on our cheeks and chins to see who loved butter more (for those of you not in the know, whoever has the most yellow residue on their faceloved butter the most).We would laugh and carry on all the way through the game and once fulfilled, we would return to the house where there would be glass cups of half-wilted dandelions and Queen Anne’s lace lining the kitchen counters. Two more bundles to add to our mom's flower collection.
Today, we often reflect on those days when times were slow, and we would carry on all day laughing and playing in the yard. Most of our stories recount how we would torment one another in puddles or a funny memory. Allison and I have had our share of battles and tragedies in our lives. We have both been set-back and knocked-down by many losses in our family. One, in particular, was very close to our hearts.
Through it all, we find ourselves pulling each other up and coming back stronger and wiser. Today, 18 years later, we share very similar pieces of art on our thighs to commemorate these shared memories. A dandelion to remind us where we come from and the strength that we share. A triangle to represent our mother and the two of us.
Megan is 21 years-old and currently attends the University of Michigan-Flint where she studies Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. She is a gardener, nature enthusiast, hunter, nature-photographer-at-heart and loves anything outdoors. She was born and raised Michigander and absolutely love the state.
Photo credit (above): Megan Cate