Dandelion SeedsMay 15, 2023
When I was a little girl, I liked to play Dots and Boxes with my Dad.
He'd make a grid of dots on a piece of paper and then, line by short line, we'd take turns connecting the dots until eventually, one of us would complete a square.
We'd write our initial in the square and connect two more dots.
In the end, the one with the most initials in boxes was the winner.
In every round, there was this singularly thrilling moment when one of us closed in a box which led to closing in a whole strand of boxes.
The satisfaction was the same as sitting back and watching the cascade of a well-placed string of dominos.
It was the highlight of every game.
What I didn't realize then was that the boxes didn't just form by chance.
There was a strategy that involved thinking and planning and predicting. And all of that was based both on knowns and unknowns.
We would each do our best to create more boxes than the other, but in the end, it was the unknown, the element of surprise that made the game so delightful.
I've been thinking a lot about delight this year. If you remember, I wrote about it several weeks ago.
There's a part of me that relishes being in the well-worn path of my daily rituals and routines. It's comfortable and cozy and safe; it feels like my favorite Irish wool cardigan (if you know me, you know that I'd choose to wear it every single day for the rest of my life).
And yet, if I'm not careful, the well-worn path of my daily rituals and routines can have the opposite effect; it can become stale and boring.
It can feel like a fortress around me that keeps the sunshine and fresh air out.
When I begin to feel stifled and notice that I'm gasping for air, a little shift in my perspective often makes a huge difference.
My grand girls could spend hours picking dandelions. They remind me how much I enjoyed them when I was their age: making a wish, puffing on the seed heads, and watching all the seeds float away on the wind.
It felt magical.
Last week, I was feeling overwhelmed (defeated, if I'm honest) by all the weeds in my flower bed.
A dandelion seed head caught my eye and I allowed myself to be drawn in past the fuzzy outer edges. And just like that, I was a kid again . . .
. . . discovering the texture of the seeds.
. . . seeing the space between the fuzzy tops and the seeds.
. . . imagining what it would be like to ba an ant and how big that space would feel to me if I were that small.
I still have a weedy flower bed. In fact, it's weedier today than it was last week.
But for just a moment, my overwhelm melted into delight and that was just enough to dissolve the defeat.
My wish for you this week is for you to experience something you're familiar with as if you're seeing it for the first time; my wish is that it brings you a fresh sense of curiosity and wonder and awe.