Thursday, June 08, 2017
Are You Seed or Are You Jelly?
I made two batches of dandelion jelly this week, which will be available for sale at the Pugwash Farmers Market on Saturday July 1st. I almost missed out on the harvest; I was busy last week then we had those four days of cool, cloudy, rainy days. When I looked out the window on Monday night, it seemed like all the dandelions had gone to seed. But the sunshine and warmth brought many back into bloom yesterday and today.
It's not difficult to make dandelion jelly; the most effort comes in collecting two cups of dandelion blossoms. Not the whole head -- just those long, thin, delicate blossoms. It's take a whole lot of time and a whole lot of blossoms to fill that Pyrex measuring cup.
As I was sitting in the grass, plucking and de-blossoming, I began to wonder about the fate of these dandelions. I wondered if they knew they were no longer destined to turn into seeds -- in this way, so much like the caterpillar and butterfly, don't you think? -- and float into the world to create more flowers.
Instead, I explained to them, "You are going to be immortal in another way. You are going to transformed into jelly that will make many people happy. You are about to become a gastronomical delight."
This got me thinking about our destinies: Those of us who become seeds and those of us who become jelly. Not in the way that one is lesser than the other; in fact, one could argue it is more important to become seeds in order to keep producing more dandelion. I was thinking about how we are transformed by the choices we make for our lives, choices that determine whether we become seeds -- floating off into the world -- or are transformed into jelly -- nourishing souls. Both involve transformations, becoming something different than what we were born as; in the case of jelly, becoming something entirely different than our circumstances dictated for our lives.
(One could perhaps argue that the decision to become jelly is not one that the dandelion made but the end result, the unique and small-batch jelly, is the point.)
So we are all dandelions -- bright yellow, lion-hearted, sturdy and hardy (also much-maligned by humans but needed and appreciated by bees) -- and what we become, seeds or jelly, is entirely up to us.