by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy

Let’s set this record straight right now: Dandelions are not a weed. Okay, some may think so. But no. They’re classified as a flower. #truestory

At my first Blue Ridge conference, I delighted in finding a few dandelions.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Dandelion Hair

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Dandelion Hair

At my return a year later, an entire field welcomed me.

They bring me back to my childhood.

I used to make dandelion wreaths for my hair, like all the girls on the block.

If your chin turns yellow when you hold a dandelion underneath it, it means you’re in love.

Once, we let them grow for a month just to see how yellow the back yard could get. Eventually we couldn’t tell the finches from the flowers.

Dandelions are used in teas, and yes, there’s a real thing called Dandelion Wine. I’ve never tried it, but I’m not opposed to the idea. They were originally used as a medicinal herb.

Dandelion can grow almost anywhere. They spring up fast, but their roots grow deep and strong. It’s how they keep coming back. It’s how they weather the storms and morph into those awesome puff balls (achenes) we all love to make wishes with. It’s how they have the ability to change and radiate their presence 200x greater than the original.

The stalk holds a milky white liquid, and the jagged leaves have a magenta tint. Dandelion dye is purple because of this, not the yellow of the flower itself.

The leaves are hairless, and irregular. The French origin of description is dent de lion, which means “lion’s tooth.”

Why am I telling you all about dandelions? Because I think they have a ill-deserved reputation.

Because they make me happy.

And because someone called me a dandelion. [Not to be confused with a dandy, which is apparently a not-nice thing to be called especially as a woman, in the 21st century.] She meant it as a compliment, and told me much of what I’ve just shared with you.

So I’m going to embrace my strength, my endurance, my colorful life, the ability to bloom wherever I am. And then I’m going to explode and share it all with you.

Just because I can.

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Be the Dandelion You're Meant to Be!

Frankly, My Dear . . . : Be the Dandelion You’re Meant to Be!

And Frankly, My Dear . . . : That’s all she wrote!

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