Pretty Is

Flowers are pretty. And that’s what you are. Pretty. You make life pretty, just by being alive. You might not feel pretty right now, but that’s only because it’s not your season.

“People are flowers,” an elderly church lady named Miss Rebecca once told me.

She was a white-haired sweetheart who made poundcake that was good enough to make strict Baptists take the name of Andy Griffith in vain.

Anyway, there are a lot of ideas on life. Some folks think life is a journey. Like hiking a mountain with the Boy Scouts—who usually smell like the backend of a filthy goat.

Everyone has their own ideas, but if you ask me, we’re flowers, like Miss Rebecca said.

Bear with me here.

Flowers are pretty. And that’s what you are. Pretty. You make life pretty, just by being alive. You might not feel pretty right now, but maybe that’s because it’s not your season.

We can’t all bloom in April. Some of us have to wait until July. But you will bloom. Soon. I promise.

Maybe you’ll turn into a purple violet. Maybe you’ll be a red tulip, or a rose. Maybe you’re a magnolia. Or maybe you’re like me.

I am a common dandelion.

I know being a dandelion doesn’t sound like much to get excited about. And believe me, it took me a LONG TIME to be happy about being one. But this is only because most folks call dandelions “weeds.”

For many years, that’s how I thought of myself. And that’s why I’m writing this to you.

Dandelions aren’t weeds. They might be overlooked, unwanted, uncared for, and sprayed with pesticides, but they are flowers.

Yes sir. Dandelions are strong, and bright, and yellow. We open every morning to the sun. We close at night. We have the longest flowering season of ANY dadgum plant out there.

Roses might be breathtaking, but we are long lasting. And if we’re lucky, after we die, some grade-school kid will blow our fuzz into the wind.

Our seeds can travel miles and miles. And we can cover entire hillsides.

Show me a rose that can do that.

We dandelions grow in all sorts of ordinary places. That’s just how we are. We take spots no other flowers want and make them colorful. Front lawns, ditches, the cracks of sidewalks, the dumpsters behind the Circle K. That’s what we’re good at.

Take me, for instance. I grew in the median along an interstate. And I was like lots of dandelions—I didn’t think anybody knew I existed. Or cared.

Across the highway, I could see prize-winning flowers. Big manicured blooms in flower beds. A landscaping crew took care of them and fed them every morning.

They were bright. You should’ve seen them. The purples, reds, whites, oranges, pinks, and blues. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be a real flower.

But life doesn’t work that way. You don’t always get what you want.

Even so, I’ll never forget the day an old man made a bouquet out of me. He picked me—along with a lot of other wildflowers. He put me into a vase, and kept us on his table.

For the first time, I mattered. And even though I can’t be certain, I think my yellow color made him smile.

Of course, the life of a dandelion is short. We won’t live forever. But maybe, just maybe someone will put me to the wind one day. Maybe my short life will have meant something to this world.

Maybe my seeds will travel in the breeze and grow along the interstate. Or in a trailer park. Or in the Walmart parking lot.

Maybe some kid who’s having a bad day will find me and remark: “Look, Mom! A flower!”


Anyway, I got a little carried away. I’m sorry about that. What I really meant to say is:

You are important.


  1. Beth Reed - April 17, 2018 6:38 am

    Aww dandelions are part of the flower family that keeps on giving. You can make dandelion tea when you’re not feeling good, put them in a salad for a meal to eat for nurishment, or you could be like one of my best friends grandson who went into the yard one day at 3 years of age and picked his grandmother a bouquet of dandelions.
    The smile on his face was priceless. The joy in his grandmother’s eyes was priceless. Those dandelions may not have lasted long since by the time the weekend visit was over she took her dandelions in one hand, his small hand in the other and went outside and blew them to Kingdom come.
    Every thing on this planet has a purpose. Even dandelions. It’s just we dandelions have to figure out our purpose whether we make tea, a salad or leave a special memory in the smile of a child or the joy in a grandmother’s heart long after her eyes fail.
    Beautiful story Sean. Xx Beth

    • Pat - April 17, 2018 2:30 pm

      Sure wish there was a Like button Beth…beautifully written!

    • Wendy Franks - April 17, 2018 11:19 pm

      Beth, I meant to say, “Beautifully written, Beth.” It came out to Sean. Of course, 100% of his are beautiful too in my eyes. Sorry I goofed. Maybe you should write a book too. ☺

      • Beth Reed - April 18, 2018 6:10 am

        Aww thank you. I would like to write a book. But can’t top Sean lol xx

  2. Wendy Franks - April 17, 2018 7:45 am

    Yes, beautiful writing, Sean!
    You’ve also reminded me of my grown daughter’s first cat when she was 7 yrs old. We’re dog people but this little girl wanted a kitten. She named her Dandelion & called her Dandy. She said lions are just big cats. Of course her mom thought this quite astute for a 2nd grader. ☺

  3. Victoria - April 17, 2018 9:31 am

    And, just like that, my day has been made!

  4. Nancy - April 17, 2018 9:57 am

    Sean, from this day forward whenever I see a dandelion I will think of you and smile. God made each and every thing from flowers to people special and you are so special to all of us!

  5. Sandra Smith - April 17, 2018 10:44 am

    My Grandmother, Maggie Fallon, taught me that, ” Life is a garden, and we are all flowers in it, and God don’t make a boring garden. Can you imagine how boring a garden would be, with only ONE kind of flower in it”, She said…
    I passed that story/lesson onto my kids, and I hope they pass it on to theirs. I think it sums it up, pretty & nicely !

  6. Ashley Garner Langford - April 17, 2018 11:01 am

    I love this, and I needed it today. As I read it, I, also, thought how teachers are a lot like dandelions. Have a fabulous day, and thanks for doing what you do!

  7. Leigh - April 17, 2018 11:33 am

    It’s no wonder that one of the first flower a child picks is a dandelion ❤️

  8. Linda Brown - April 17, 2018 11:52 am

    I love them!

  9. Edna B. - April 17, 2018 12:02 pm

    Ahh, I love dandelions! When my children were small and the baby was very sick, the kids would go outside and pick me a beautiful dandelion bouquet to cheer me up. As a child, my brother and I would pick lots of dandelions and our next door neighbor would cook them up for us. Mmmm, delicious! I never spray my dandelions with weed killer. They are too special to hurt. Thank you for the memories, Sean. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.

  10. C.F. David - April 17, 2018 12:09 pm

    You need to make this a children’s book.

    • muthahun - April 17, 2018 3:17 pm

      C.F.David, what an excellent idea! With Sean’s delightful line drawings!

  11. Jenny Young - April 17, 2018 1:00 pm

    Have you ever had dandelion wine or jelly? Or eaten dandelion greens? The greens have to be picked at the right time or they’re bitter. Have you ever blown on a dandelion whistle? And think of all the wishes a dandelion puff can grant! A flower is only a weed if you don’t want it in your garden. There are no weeds in my garden!

  12. Jill - April 17, 2018 1:10 pm

    Another one of your best.

  13. Mary Talton - April 17, 2018 1:31 pm

    ….and YOU, are a precious man!!!! Thanks, loved it!!!

  14. Joy Luke - April 17, 2018 1:35 pm

    I agree with C. F. David. This would be a wonderful children’s book. Hope you give this some thought. I’m speaking as a retired teacher who had students who saw themselves as thorns on a rosebush.

  15. Dianne - April 17, 2018 1:56 pm

    Poof!!! You made my day! Thank you, Sean.

  16. Virginia abrams - April 17, 2018 2:04 pm

    Sean, when I cut grass, years ago, I could never cut a dandelion—-they were standing against the world

    Thank you for making every day special for me. Alabama was where I grew up, Demopolis, but I also lived in LA so I love your stories

  17. Nix LaVerdi - April 17, 2018 2:14 pm

    Simply beautiful. Your stories are important. Thank you, Sean. (I believe I, too, am a dandelion).

  18. Pat - April 17, 2018 2:35 pm

    So precious when your child brings you a dandelion with a grin on his/her face from ear to ear!

  19. Helen - April 17, 2018 2:38 pm

    Love, love, love this!!!

  20. Lisa - April 17, 2018 2:46 pm

    Some see a weed. Others see a wish! Some days you make me cry, some days you make me laugh out loud, but everyday you make me smile!

    • Wendy Franks - April 17, 2018 11:10 pm


  21. muthahun - April 17, 2018 3:22 pm

    Dandelions are first to bloom in the spring and feed the bees as they’re just venturing out of their hives in the spring. My grandfather and I used to dig ’em, clean ’em, and present ’em to my Nan to cook with a piece of ham or beef and potatoes, a little apple cider vinegar to tame the bitter. One of my mum’s last Mother’s Days, we shared this meal, with lemon meringue pie for dessert! Another friend and I made dandelion wine one year. My husband said it made his tongue “roll up like a window shade”, but it was really quite tasty. Lovely plant, the dandelion. Lovely man, our Sean.

  22. Lynda Gayle Knight - April 17, 2018 3:37 pm

    No one, AND I MEAN NO ONE, could have said it better. I’m letting all of my six grandchildren read this so they can always know beauty❣️ IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN GET A SCHEDULE OF YOUR SPEAKING TOURS? My daughter in Helena and I are dying to hear you speak. By the time I found you were speaking in Oxford, tickets were gone; same in B’ham❣️ HELP!

  23. Jack Quanstrum - April 17, 2018 4:01 pm

    Yes, we all are. Great read!

  24. Lisa Mills - April 17, 2018 4:38 pm

    I don’t know if you’re a flower, but YOU ARE A TREASURE!
    Thank you for your words.

    And tell Lanier “Hey!”

  25. Kathy Daum - April 17, 2018 4:45 pm

    I just read that dandelions keep bees alive in the spring until other flowers bloom. I’ve never seen a bee turn down a dandelion.

  26. Jo - April 17, 2018 9:23 pm

    The dandelions of which you speak remind me of the water lilies that we used to see in the klongs (canals) in Thailand. In the midst of the filthy water they sprung up and radiated beauty. They transformed the landscape and always made me smile.

  27. Jody - April 18, 2018 12:27 am

    Love this.

  28. Dolores Fort - April 18, 2018 7:16 am

    You have already planted seeds, Sean, and they are starting to sprout.
    Thank you!

  29. sam smith - April 18, 2018 3:01 pm

    Dearest Sean, we all need to be like dandelions, and Bloom where we are Planted.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts; you are a blessing to so many.

  30. Janet Mary Lee - April 18, 2018 3:52 pm

    Again, (LOL), one of your best! Let’s not forget they make great dandelion chains along with clover….hmmm..meditating on your links you make…

  31. ma rainey - April 20, 2018 1:14 pm

    I so enjoyed your post and hope to visit your blog more often! We are all unique and important !

  32. Sue Cronkite - April 21, 2018 11:47 pm

    Great one!

  33. Mary Anne - May 2, 2018 5:50 am

    Sean, like the line from the movie “you had me at hello.”

    In your opening line you wrote: “People are flowers,” an elderly church lady named Miss Rebecca once told me.

    I’m almost 66, but when I read your first line, I was 6 again. On April 1st of my 6th year, my mother had a baby girl. She was stillborn. She was beautiful. Perfect skin. Head full of black hair. I will always remember what she looked like. There was a little memorial service for her at our church. Then we buried her in a tiny casket. My mama couldn’t come because she was too sick and was still in the hospital. My daddy cried. A lot. Back in the day when daddies usually did not cry.

    My first grade class stood single file on the sidewalk waving at me as our funeral procession drove past the school from the tiny Methodist church to the cemetery. You see, my first grade teacher, Mrs. Belue, had once been my mother’s student and they had a special bond. They sent notes to one another all year and tucked them inside a little snap pocket of my book satchel. Backpacks had not been invented in 1958. But book satchels had. Mrs. Belue never had any children of her own but she knew how to love on the ones in her classroom. I don’t want to get her in trouble, but Mrs. Belue is the one who sneaked me into the hospital through the basement on Saturday to see my mama with the help of a nurse friend. In those days, children could not visit anyone in the hospital. Hospitals had strict rules on that sort of thing. My mama was pretty sad and she was wanting to see her baby…that was me. Mrs. Belue bucked the system. For good reason.

    That Sunday, at Sunday School I wasn’t in much of a mood to take part in crayons or modeling clay. I just wanted to cry. I missed my mama who was still in the hospital. I didn’t understand why my baby sister didn’t live.

    Enter a saint that God placed in my path. My Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Robinson, picked me up, put me in her lap and let me cry into her chest wetting her Sunday dress that smelled like an old woman. When I’d had my good cry and got through snubbing, she dried my tears with her soft, embroidered handkerchief and stroked my hair and started talking softly to me. I asked her why God didn’t let my baby sister live.

    Here’s what she told me. She asked “you know what a bouquet of flowers is don’t you?” I nodded my head that I did. She said “well, God is making a big bouquet. Only he uses people instead of flowers to make a big bouquet in Heaven. People come in all sizes and colors and that’s what makes his bouquet in Heaven so beautiful. He uses old people, like your grandmother who died, as the big outside flowers. But, in the center, he puts tiny rose buds. He needed another beautiful rose bud so chose your baby sister to come help Him make his bouquet.”

    God Bless Mrs. Robinson for putting things in perspective that eased the pain of the broken heart of a six-year-old girl and for doing so in a way that I could understand. Somehow, her story managed to dry my tears and all these years later, still gives me a measure of comfort.

    Every year on April 1st, I think about how old my baby sister would have been and how different my life would have been had she lived. She would have been 60 this past April 1st. But she did not. She is a rose bud in Heaven.

    I believe Miss Rebecca, Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Belue were cut from God’s same bolt of cloth. I believe it does take a village to raise a child.

    P.S.: I love all of your stories, Sean. Please keep writing them because they inspire and encourage me. But I was compelled to share one of mine with you tonight. I hope you don’t mind.

  34. Carol Uhlhorn - June 23, 2018 3:29 pm

    I’m 67, and I haven’t bloomed yet, but I have sturdy roots and I’m still growing. Maybe I’m a century plant. And I have to remind myself that God has a reason for me, too!

  35. Kathy - June 24, 2018 1:39 am


  36. Anita Ryan - June 24, 2018 2:37 am

    I confess, I stop to look at dandelion flowers along the way when I’m out walking because they are pretty and add a touch of brightness. The ones close to me grow barely a couple of I chest above the ground. I thought they used to be a little taller than that,but they’re still pretty. Thanks for another great story.

  37. Emma Lucas - July 30, 2018 11:10 pm

    I hope to cross paths with you one day ❤️

  38. Gage Durbin - September 24, 2018 2:33 pm

    tank you for that i feel like no one cares if im here or not,but this makes me feel like i can brighten someones day c:


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