In his latest “From the Chapel” blog post, OSV publisher Scott Richert writes, “Our family…
From the Chapel — April 16: Dandelion wine
“From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
Snow yesterday; even more snow — 2-5 inches — tomorrow, and in between a beautiful, bright, sunny day.
Out on my run this afternoon, socially distancing myself from the few other runners and walkers, I saw the first dandelions of spring, springing up through the deep green grass that bore no trace of yesterday’s snow.
I don’t know if this is true of Easterners and Southerners and those in the Rocky Mountain West or the Pacific states, but we Midwesterners have a love-hate relationship with dandelions. Children love them; adults hate them. Or, at least, we do until we reach a certain age, when the first dandelions of spring appear in all of their full-fledged golden glory, and we’re reminded of what it was like once to be a child, and to hold a dandelion blossom up under your best friend’s chin to see if he likes butter, or to gather up a small bouquet of only the best blossoms to present to your mother, who graciously expressed her delight and dutifully placed her golden treasure in a pint jar until your friend called you back outside.
Those dandelions of spring, of course, turned into the white clouds of early summer, that you’d kick or would pick to blow the seeds onto the wind, sowing the earth for the following spring and another moment of joy — for another child, because you were growing up and leaving childish things behind and becoming your father or your mother and with each passing year seeing less beauty and more hard work, digging and pulling and burning and poisoning the weeds that have sullied your perfectly manicured lawn.
Until, again, you reach that certain age, and with it that first glimmer of wisdom that comes from knowing that nothing short of God is perfect and never will be, and that beauty can sometimes be found in the imperfections, and you can see in the dandelions a metaphor for the speed bumps, the roadblocks, the quarantines of life that disrupt the plans you have made and make you think, really think, about what you’ve been doing, and why.
Why can’t you be like a child again, and accept beauty wherever you find it? Why must there be plans that cannot be changed and lawns that must be meticulously groomed and work that no longer serves the purpose of providing for your family and creating a home that you want to spend time in, and not just the place you sleep when you’re not at work? If, of course, you can sleep at all, when at night you dream of spreadsheets and conference calls and deadlines and duties, rather than golden blossoms floating on a deep green sea that just yesterday was covered with snow and will be again tomorrow, and snowy white seeds drifting on the hot summer breeze, as the porch light comes on and everything worthwhile in your life awaits, just inside the door of the house you call home.
Scott P. Richert is publisher of OSV.