The Plucked Dandelion

My son ran off the baseball field during practice yesterday, holding something in his hand for me. It was a freshly picked dandelion, slightly wilted from a recent weed prevention spraying, yellow leaves curling but head still held up, as if it was on its last rally. Its time was running out. My son sweetly passed his gift to me, oblivious to the state of the flower, then ran back to join his team. This precious moment of innocence and thoughtfulness warmed my heart.

I know these moments won’t last. Time is speeding by. That sweet little child’s palm will one day be the palm of a young man. When he cried all night as a baby, I’d rock him gently remembering that the baby stage goes quickly. I had to enjoy all the moments – sweet and difficult – that came with that stage. The stage after that. And, the stage after that. I blinked, and he was walking. Blinked again, he started kindergarten. Afraid if I blink again, he’ll have grown hair under his arm pits. It has all gone so fast. Time is speeding by and the more I see him grow, the more I realize, it can’t be controlled.

I was reminded recently that we all are running out of time. At least that’s what my new lock screen shows on my phone. It’s a picture of Jesse Itzler, an author, life coach, and a guy with a big ol’ resume of cool stuff he’s done that’s all over the place. He’s holding up a clock to remind me that time is not mine. My son saw it and said I was weird. But I don’t care. The message hit a nerve. I’m taking a class of Jesse’s called ‘Build Your Life Resume,’ basically an online life coaching class. Because, why not? He can’t stop talking about the preciousness of time as it’s a hot topic for him. He passionately pleads, “Don’t you get it? You can’t control it. It’s running out.” He even breaks it down by the mere number of hours in the average person’s life span to get his point across. Yikes.

I am running out of time. Double yikes. It’s a statement that has me thinking, questioning. Am I using my time with intention or purpose? Am I savoring those moments enough? Am I wasting time and energy on things that aren’t worth my time?

When my son picks dying dandelions and hands them to me as a gift because he knows I love flowers, I am reminded to savor the moment, and to remember the dandelion. The bright sunny flower-weed who was plucked too early when it wanted to bloom and send its seeds, like dreams, into the wind to take flight, to land somewhere to spread roots, and to grow. But the dandelion had run out of time.