The day I learned that plants have names.

I was probably about three years old because I had learned to walk and was well on my way exploring the world to see what was in it.  One day on the lawn in front of my home I found a wonderfully soft yellow flower.  It looked beautiful, it was fragrant, and it tasted very good.  The woman who was minding me held it under my chin and told me that the yellow reflection of sunlight from the flower to my chin meant that I like butter.  I knew that was nonsense, and now over half a century later I wonder how I knew that it was nonsense.  I was a clever toddler not to be taken in by it.

 

She also told me that the lovely flower had a name, it was a dandelion, and it was a weed which meant that it was an awful plant.  People did not like dandelions and pulled them up out of their lawns.  I was devastated.  My lovely flower was unloved and rejected.  I went around into the backyard to think by myself, and I realized that each plant that I walked past had a name, and that people had feelings about them, and that people had set ways of responding to them, and that I would have to conform to those established ways of relating to plants, even if I loved a wonderfully soft yellow flower.

Caption:  A Wonderfully Soft Yellow Dandelion

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

 

 

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