Monday, March 13, 2006

A Case for the Dandelions

The "run to the bagel shop" this stormy Monday morning took on an all new meaning. She was hungry, the dog wanted her bagel bone and was restless about that, and it's just a habit to work until breaktime and then "run down to the bagel shop" on the corner.

This morning she stood glancing out the window to the west, watching another huge storm brewing there, and knew that she had to time it perfectly.

She shrugged into rain gear and tested the air by stepping out onto the porch, facing each direction to get a sense of the wind and how long she thought she had to get there and back.

"If I run there, get a banana nut muffin instead of the toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese, and walk back pretty quickly," she told Annie, I can just make it before that cuts loose...can just get back inside before the first drops of rain splash down."

The run down was perfect, but a little awkward in a raincoat, the hood bouncing behind her, her tennis shoes splashing puddles up around her ankles with every step. She went inside, ordered her muffin, small house blend coffee and bagel bone for Annie, could feel the charge in the air, the humidity, and could tell by the almost imperceptible change in the light through the plateglass window, that she was just going to make it home before having to pull up the hood and pull on the rubber boots.

She pushed her beaded Moo-Lah cow-shaped change purse into one pocket, her cell phone and the bagel bone in the other and balancing the white paper sack and the cup of hot coffee, walked briskly toward her house. The first left turn and it was visible on the hill. The air thickened and she stepped the pace up a bit.

One drop on the sleeve of the coat, but she still had time.

Just before the sky opened up and dumped its wares, she stopped in front of her house and thought, "Man, look at all the dandelions in my yard!"

She opened the front door and the downpour began. The dog was squirming in anticipation of the breakfast she knew was coming, and she broke the bagel in half, and together, she and her black and tan Dachshund stood on the safe side of the storm door and watched the rain washing the earth while they had their breakfast.

Later in the day, once things had dried out, she noticed her neighbor outside in her own yard, seeking out the dandelions growing there, an industrial-sized cannister of weed killer strapped to her back that made her look like a misplaced moonwalker. She would see one of the yellow flowers and point and shoot, not unlike a cowboy in an old Western. She could almost hear the Spaghetti Western music playing in the background.

She feels she has to state the case for the dandelions. Really, if one thinks about it, they have to see that this is the most perfect species of flower. It comes up every spring and even sometimes in the winter if the sun gets warm enough for a couple of days, and adds a splash of yellow color. The dandelion requires no maintenance whatsoever, and it's reproduction capabilities are enviable.

She shakes her head, realizing that she will never understand what constitutes beauty and what constitutes weeds as long as she lives and closes the blinds on the mass murder going on next door.

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