When I was a little girl our house was always filled with dandelions. From the first hint of spring until the last gasping breath of summer, bouquets of yellow flowers in brightly coloured Tupperware cups covered every available surface. My mother said they were her favourite flower, so my sisters and I bent to pick them whenever we saw them.
I failed to see their beauty.
“Why do you like them so much?” I asked when I realized they weren’t a flower at all. “They’re just weeds!”
“No, they’re not,” was her gentle response. “They start out as weeds, but then they become wishes …” and she plucked a white dandelion from the grass and blew it into the wind.
And then I understood.
My mother had a difficult childhood. I could picture her as a little girl herself, picking dandelion after dandelion, making wish after wish that her life would change.
Dandelions may be weeds, but they are also a symbol of hope.
* * *
I think of writing the same way.
I know that writing is many things to many people: It can tell a story, evoke emotion, transport the reader to another time and place. It can provide escape, capture memories, and even be therapeutic.
But for me, writing offers hope.
When I sit down to write a first draft, it’s nothing special. It’s me, sitting at the kitchen table with notebook and pen, writing as quickly and as legibly as I can in an attempt to pull as many words and jumbled up ideas out of my head as I possibly can.
It’s nothing amazing.
But it has potential.
It has possibility.
It has hope.
* * *
So I write.
I start with a messy draft, I edit it, I re-write and edit and re-write and tweak and finally I hit publish – blowing my words into the winds of cyberspace.
I may never write a bestselling novel or have an article or essay published in a well-known magazine, but that’s not why I write.
I don’t share my writing online for attention. I don’t share things here for accolades.
I write to be faithful to the calling.
I write to challenge, encourage and inspire others to see beauty in the everyday, minister in the mundane, and share their stories along the way.