On Holy Saturday, I mowed my lawn.
While I was thinking of Jesus, dead in the tomb, I was making laps around my yard behind the mower, tripping over mole tunnels and sloshing through the wet patches left behind by the recent spring showers.
But it was the dandelions scattered throughout my quarter acre plot that really got me thinking about death and resurrection. No matter how many bags full of those perky weeds I kill each year, they always rise again the next Spring, more glorious, and sinister, than ever.
For the longest time, I was most frustrated by the dandelions that grow in the bald or weedy patches of the yard. Near my raised bed garden, where the overzealous zucchini shaded and subsequently killed the grass last summer, the dandelions are taking full advantage. I dug up one plant from there on Saturday that was nearly as big as my head.
The dandelions also love to fill in the spots where the moles have left piles of dirt or the flood waters have left little patches of mud. The dandelions don’t care. They can grow just about anywhere. Even my gravel driveway, which already is a sore spot to my pride, is fair game to the blood-suckingest of all horticultural parasites. The dandelions are hard to dig there, too, with the roots nestled deep into the gravelly bed.
But as I spent half an hour digging up a tiny fraction of all the dandelions, and then as I mowed over a a minefield of hundreds more, it dawned on me that those dandelions that take advantage of weak spots in the yard are predictable, expected. It’s the ones that grow in the middle of a healthy patch of grass, where no dandelion would be welcome: those are the most dangerous dandelions.
Just one seed floating in the wind or stuck to the claw of a robin or a finch, serendipitously making its way to the good part of the yard, is all it takes to ruin an otherwise well-manicured lawn. And if that one dandelion is not quickly identified and removed, it stretches out its neck, it grows old and gray, and then suddenly, “Charity had a baby, and it’s head popped off.” The otherwise healthy lawn is covered in perky, treacherous yellow.
Of course the whole problem goes away with a little Trimec and Roundup. But I steer away from chemicals as much as possible, and besides, what fun would an asynchronous battle like that be?
As I made my way to the back yard on Saturday, I decided to clear away a few of the leaves and sticks from the back flower bed, and with the dandelions and their destruction still on my mind, I saw a glimmer of pink nestled among the greens and browns.
My Bleeding Heart had bloomed and sat presiding royally and victoriously over the Spring growth.
He has risen; He has risen, indeed!