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Image5dandelionAs a child, I enjoyed blowing the fuzzy seeds of a dandelion plant and watching them float away on the breeze.

As a former teacher and as a writer, I’ve enjoyed tossing my ideas out into the world and seeing which ones land and take root and grow.

Image8dandelionDandelions put down roots that spread and break up the soil and make way for new flowers to spring up.

I too have put down deep roots in my community and yes sometimes I stir things up to make room for new ideas to grow.

butterflydandelionOnce these little bits of yellow joy were prized for their value as food and health remedies and the first Spring flowers to support butterflies and bees.

Once I was prized for my nurturing of students and mentoring of new teachers and my success with motivating others.

timothygrass2And then lawns with grass became prized and pesticides were invented and TVs with advertising began to tell us what to think and do and buy. They do not tell us why the bees and butterflies are disappearing.

And then people started using toxic chemicals like synthetic fragrances . If commercials are accurate — apparently people cannot find love or be successful or be a good parent without using multiple toxic chemicals every day. They do not discuss why millions have developed chemical sensitivities.

Image2redrosesDandelions went from a plant people desired — to one that is considered by many to be a weed. (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association).

Wikipedia refers to it as a beneficial weed. Many years ago I asked a botanist: “What is a weed?” The answer: “Any plant that is somewhere you do not want it to be. A rose if growing in a place you do not want it would be a weed.”

Image8garden

I went from being a human– people wanted around and even awarded me for my efforts to becoming a beneficial weed. What diversity is being lost from the pool of humanity when millions of voices are silenced by toxic winds. Imagine a school with only teachers and students with low chemical sensitivities. Those who react with migraines and fatigue and hives and stomach issues can no longer walk the halls and learn and give voice to new ideas. How many Einsteins have we lost to the “sweet” smell of success being reaped by those who profit from the toxic synthetic “fragrances” that overwhelm our lives.

monarchbutterflylakeSo I ask if you are you one of the 78 millions of people using lawn and household pesticides? Or one of the 5 million households who are organic caregivers of their lawns? (beyond pesticides) Are you trying to eradicate dandelions from your lawn with toxic chemicals — WHY? Were you like me as child — running joyfully through a field of yellow beauties only stopping when you spied a fluffy one? Do you prefer your children to be playing in a yard filled with toxic chemicals to one that attracts butterflies? Do people who are starving ever question why we are poisoning a plant that is reported to be edible if it’s not doused in toxic chemicals?

Image2soilDandelions are being eradicated for the “love” of green — the green of a lawn and the green of money. I know how the dandelion feels. Trade secrets protect companies from disclosing the toxic chemicals used to eradicate this joyful yellow flower. I know how the dandelion feels. Trade secrets protect those that produce toxic synthetic “fragrances” as well. I know how the dandelion feels. I too am sickened by these chemicals. People will claim they have the RIGHT to have their lawn look any way they want just as people will claim they have a RIGHT to use toxic synthetic “fragrances”. I know how the dandelion feels. If no change occurs someday a child may look at barren soil and wonder how so many humans could have stopped thinking for themselves.

wetbeeOn behalf of the dandelion and myself, I ask you to stop and ask yourself: Why did I use that pesticide/herbicide/fungicide? Why do I use products made with toxic chemicals? Why do I accept governments supporting unhealthy foods rather than subsidizing foods that are free of toxic chemicals? I ask this without judgement — in the past I used perfume and pesticides — I even for a time bought in to the notion that dandelions were a weed — until I asked myself WHY?

Earth Day and Arbor Day are in a few weeks and May is MCS Awareness Month. What better time to reevaluate the beneficial weeds in your life and maybe reconsider we “weeds” have a right to share our beauty and our gifts with a toxic free world.

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