A Place for Us

Most of us really dislike dandelions, at least in our own yard.  The leaves are not that attractive, but one has to admit that the flower is dazzlingly yellow.   And when the seeds turn into that snow-white ball yet still cling to the stem, they are beautiful.  No matter how old one gets, the urge to pick that snow-white ball and blow is almost irresistible.  Ever so gently we pick the easily broken stem.  We don’t want any of the seeds to dislodge until we blow.  Then with a birthday cake candle-blowing burst we launch a hundred seeds into the air to drift into our neighbors’ yards.  And how can they be angry?  They too have blown seeds into our yard.

There is an old saying that a weed is just a flower in the wrong place.  Sometimes we are tempted to think this about people when we see them struggling to achieve in a setting that is not a good fit for them.  They look rather like a weed.  But they do have gifts.  Everyone has something they can do very well.  And in another environment they would be dazzling.  The challenge is to find it.  What breaks your heart is seeing an elderly person who never found his or her place to bloom.

There is a beautiful song in the musical West Side Story that says,

“There’s a place for us—somewhere a place for us,

Peace and quiet and open air wait for us—somewhere.”

There is a place for everyone here and in heaven.  Our calling is to help each other find both.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 31, 2004

PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574