Learning to Love Dandelions and Farts

 April 19, 2016

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“What are you doing?” my friend Sally asked me as I pulled out dandelion after dandelion.

“Getting rid of these dandelions.”

“Oh,” she watched as I continued my futile efforts to rid the yard of these weeds. “I like dandelions. I like seeing fields of yellow.” I continued pulling but in that moment a belief held for over thirty years shifted.

As a girl, my mom would give each of us kids a bag and the mission to go out and pick dandelions. For our efforts we were given a nickel. Dandelions were weeds and as such they did not deserve to live in our yard.

Following that imprinted script, once we moved into the rectory in Concord with a yard that required care, I set about my duty of removing every dandelion so we could have a pure lawn of green grass as God had ordained we should have. Sally’s simple comment, over twenty years ago, helped me break out of thirty years of conditioning. I haven’t looked at dandelions in the same way since then.

Yesterday on Facebook, I came across an article on the health benefits of farts. What!!! Can’t be. According to the article, the gas you release has health benefits not only for you, but for those around you. They were looking for ways to market this.

They need look no further for a source of this gas. My husband and I have a veritable symphony going on each day. Does this mean I no longer have to sneak out farts while the conversation is at its loudest or hide them amidst strains of hard rock or other loud music? Now I can loudly let them rip and be thanked for my efforts. Perhaps this could be a source of income in retirement as they seek to bottle this.

Another shift in thinking. Isn’t it amazing how something you believed all of your life can suddenly be proven wrong? It leads me to wonder what else I’ve been taught that will be changed. What about biting your finger nails? Is there a hidden benefit in that? Or mosquitoes, can we learn to love them the way my friend loved dandelions?

So much of what we hold to be true is a cultural construct. Times change, cultures change, science discovers new information and our beliefs change.

It’s a reminder to me, to hold non-essential beliefs lightly. Not every belief is worth fighting over or fighting for.


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