My kids know it is safe to play in our yard because dotted among the grass are dandelions, violets and clover. Dandelions are medicine and wishes to our family. To them, the absence of dandelions in some neighboring yards is quite creepy. They understand that lawn chemicals don’t just “go away” after being sprayed on the dandelions; they migrate around and come into our homes and into our bodies making our bodies more prone to illness (cancer, hormone and reproductive issues, birth defects, neurological diseases and much more). My kids have grown up with different associations than many and think our somewhat “weedy” yard is beautiful and much more interesting.
The real beauty of a lawn is meant to be in the joy it brings us – not just visually – but also in knowing that we are a healthy part of the circle of life and knowing that we can experience a harmonious interconnectedness with nature. When we are choosing chemicals that are destroying our health, how can that be considered beautiful? What does that say about our values?
I think it is worthy to take some time to consider how we can help make sure we are living in harmony with nature by examining how we take care of our yards. What can we do to change our perceived ideals of beauty with our lawns? Why are some plants considered “weeds” and why do we go to such lengths as to spray toxic chemicals to kill those weeds and create a uniformly sterilized green lawn?
Killing dandelions with chemicals serves a very narrow and short-sighted purpose and only has the potential to harm us and our ecology. History has shown us repeatedly that when we break the circle of life, we create unintended consequences. For example, bees count on dandelions and other similar plant life for their first springtime meals. Bees are dying in record numbers (a term called colony collapse disorder). As our ecology is continued to be adversely affected from our choices, we are expected to have increased food prices and possibly food shortages as the bees continue to die out.
If we continue to kill our outer ecology, we ultimately will harm ourselves. I’d rather my grandkids have a yard with dandelions and food on the table … maybe even a salad with some baby dandelion greens in it! 🙂
☙ That is my wish. ❧