Dam Dandelion

This week’s theme appears to be dandelions. Who would have predicted that at the outset? Not I.

It’s especially surprising because this week the Big Guy and I were on a trip through two national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Teton – where I had ample opportunity to try for the expected shot. The amazing shot. Even for the iconic shot. Some of those results will appear here before too long.

But I also had a chance to see other views.

Close-up of dandelion seed head with dam in background

Dandelion and Jackson Lake Dam

If I were, you know, a blogger, I could take this juxtaposition in more than one direction.

In a philosophical mood, I might be tempted by a riff on so-called intelligent design versus true intelligent design.

In a personal mood, I might muse on the unconscious patterns in my photography: as I look back, I find many shots of dandelions. Or I might consider emerging preoccupations: dams and bridges and dams that are bridges.

But this weekend, with friends and family, I will help to inter some of my mother’s ashes in the family plot alongside my father’s ashes, and next door, as it were, to my mother’s parents. I will also help to scatter some of her ashes on the farm where she grew up, on the land that she loved.

So this weekend, my thoughts go more to permanence and transience: To the things that last, and the things that don’t.

The dam would seem to have it all over the dandelion in this respect. I can’t damage the dam’s structural integrity no matter what I do, but I can dispatch the dandelion with a puff of breath. What could be a better symbol of permanence than a dam, engineered to last for many decades? What could be more transient than a dandelion, flourishing for just a few weeks?

And yet . . .

Eventually, the dam will crumble into nothingness, while the dandelion – through its offspring, and theirs, and theirs – will persist. Will live forever, if you like.

Life lasts. Love lasts.

Anything that looks otherwise is an illusion. Anything that suggests otherwise is a lie.


This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly, Mortality, Photos of Built Stuff, Photos of Flora and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dam Dandelion

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Great, insightful thoughts, Isabel. Thanks!

  2. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – Here’s today’s trick question. What kind of bridge is this dam??
    John W

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    Thanks for these thoughts, Isabel. As my minister often says at funerals, “Death ends a life. It doesn’t end a relationship.”
    Jim T

  4. So many plants have sprouted in the thin cracks of asphalt this summer. It wouldn’t take long for nature to (eventually) crack a dam.
    My thoughts are with you. It’s a hard passage you are on, but a natural one, unlike a dam.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Yeah, my money is on the weeds, that’s for sure. Thanks for your thoughts. It is hard.

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