Dandelions always remind me of my mother. It’s not just because yellow was her favorite color. The dandelion was a symbol of her cross-cultural learnings.
She grew up in Bangkok surrounded by a stunning array of wildly colored tropical flowers and plants of all sorts. In the 1950s, she had earned a fellowship to study nursing in England. It would be her first time spending an extended period of time away from home and her very large family.
London was a world away and homesickness bubbled under the surface. One drab spring day, she saw a blazing yellow beacon in the grass — a floral reminder of home. She bent down and promptly turned it into a boutonniere. She walked along near Russell Square with a smile as bright as the dandelion in her jacket lapel.
“Excuse me ma’am,” a bobby said with a little smile. “Do you know you’re wearing a weed?”
“A weed?” mom asked.
“A weed,” he said.
Mom just smiled and said: “It’s beautiful no matter what it’s called.”
Can’t argue with that.