For one thing, there's something about how tangible and physical they are. They beg to be picked and no one will object because, of course, they're weeds. And so, I pick them. All the time. For the last two weeks I was at school, there were hundreds of dandelion puff balls absolutely everywhere, and especially near the prayer chapel (which is incidentally, one of my favorite place on campus). So every time I walked past that part of campus, I picked myself a puff ball. I felt it in my hands, cupping my fingers around the delicate seeds that sometimes look like sunbursts. I kept it intact as long as possible, protecting it from the wind lest it disappear even as I carried it. I touched my face with it, feeling its softness and itchiness at the same time.
I used to be very silly about dandelion puff-balls. I used to look for only the biggest, roundest, most perfect ones with the long, thick stems that were durable and sturdy. I think I used to like those because their delicate perfection appealed to me. When you wish on the perfect ones, it feels more likely that your wish will come true. But lately, I've liked the small ones, the imperfect ones with a few seeds already missing. And for the same reasons--it seems like they're saying, "I can't promise much. Your wish may not come true. But you can try and wish on me anyway." (My friend Libby says that for all my rationality, I'm utterly romantic. I guess I'm okay with that.)
So my life has been full of imperfect, "no promises, but you can wish on me anyway" dandelions. I've had a lot of wishes that just don't come true like I hope...
BUT--I think the thing I like most about dandelion puff-balls is that they were created. designed. by the same God who created and designed me. He knows the wishes that I blow to disperse the dandelion seeds. He knows that my heart can sometimes be as delicate as the round white balls of dandelion beauty. And when I remember all of this, I am put at peace to see the dandelion seeds fly every which way by the wind. Whether wishes or prayers, my God knows them all.