The Determination of Dandelions

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I am at war with dandelions.

I know, go ahead and laugh. Project your shaken heads over the e-waves, passing me subliminal messages about futility. I know it’s futile. At noon, I pick off every yellow head within a three-house radius of my yard, and by nine the next morning, each plant has sprouted three more. I clear the neighborhood at three and by seven, yellow spots are popping up all over the grass again.

My theory is exhaustion of resources, till the weed & feed arrives on the premises—at a bare minimum, no white fluffy seed heads multiplying the madness by exponents. But never have I seen such a determined plant. As I chase my kids up and down the sidewalk, the wreckage of my battle confronts me on every side: shriveled, dried-up buds and flowerets littering the concrete while right beside them, bright, perky baby florets smile up at me. And I think, if I had half the stamina and perseverance of these nasty little weeds, what couldn’t I accomplish?

And in some ways, I empathize with the poor unwanted dandelions. The remains of my assault on the mighty curtain wall around the literary world lie banished to a folder in my email account. Shriveled little florets that read “Thank you for considering us for your submission. Unfortunately…” Now, so far in this folder there are only two of them. The first I handled with a philosophical shrug; at the appearance of the second, I went all Don Music and shrieked, “I’ll never get it! Never!”

Unfortunately, this bad habit does not limit itself to the submission of music and novels. Nope, I’m pretty much like that in everything I do. If I can’t figure out how to fix something in the first five minutes, I call for backup. That goes for computers, broken objects, and any toy that needs assembly. Not to mention exercise. And spiritual pursuits. Like finding mental quiet when kids are around. There’s got to be a way to do it, but I’ve never figured it out—mostly because at the first hurdle, I give up.

I need to learn a lesson from the dandelions. A lesson in determination and stamina. Because I’m well aware that the dandelions are going to outlast me. After all, they have nothing else to do, and everything to lose.