ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dandelions in Bloom

Updated on January 3, 2015

The first few weeks of May have been colder than usual. Frigid North-West winds sweeping up off the ocean surface salt and chill the earth, postponing springtime flora. Summer will come regardless, but sometimes it's hard to swallow winter encroaching on tempus vernum.

Jim crosses his arms against the cold and stumbles through his porch door into a home he can hardly bear to enter. Voices of a happy family still echo off the walls; ghosts of another life who haunt relentlessly. Memories, their rattling chains. It wasn't that Jim was bothered by cold and wind. He grew up accustomed to many cold and windy days on the southern coast of Nova Scotia. What bothered Jim about the delayed spring blossoming was not the cold itself, but the cold as a reminder of a cruel winter two years previous that ended his happiness and destroyed his life. It was a cold winter storm that sunk his son's fishing vessel, ending five young lives, and resonating to break many more.

Jim stoked the few remaining embers in the fireplace, spreading them out evenly before laying triangular and semicircular chops of wood down together in the stove like a reductive and unsatisfying game of Tetris rewired to suit a young child. Chris was good at Tetris, thought Jim, He was good at a lot of things. Was...

Jim remained kneeled in front of the fireplace watching the greyish white smoke fill the chamber and then clear away to reveal yellow flames licking up the walls of his solid brick wall of firewood. This will burn for a while if I keep the draft down. I have to be careful not to let it go out completely. It's easy to keep a fire going, even when the barest of embers remain, but starting anew over a cold pile of ash is always a pesky chore.

Alas, Jim often let the fire go out. Grief still held an iron grip on his heart and he found it difficult to keep up with chores around the house. A thin layer of dust lay over pretty much everything in the house. Much of which from the fireplace, but some of it was microscopic bits of dead skin from people who had once lived there, or those who just came for a visit and passed on. The oppressive veil of death was of course nothing new to this house.


The next week had meant a dramatic change in the weather. After a day of torrential rain, the temperature had begun to rise steadily day by day. The rain had washed away all remaining traction salt and gravel flecked snowbanks and the lawns had started to green immediately.

A week later and each lawn was speckled with yellow spots; some were covered. As if overnight, millions of dandelions had shot up out of the ground and taken bloom. Jim, however, did not take notice of this on his way to the cemetery. Dandelions had once represented a special pastime between him and his son. Among other woodsman survival tips, Jim had taught Chris all of the ways you can eat each part of a dandelion. Not just the leaves, but also the white carrot-like root and the yellow blossom. Of course, as most parents do, Jim also taught Chris how to make a wish with a seeded dandelion. "You see here, like this one," said Jim to his toddler son, plucking a seeded dandelion from the ground. "When a breeze picks up, blow on the white puff and make a wish as they scatter into the air."

It wasn't until he had reached his son's grave that Jim noticed the brilliant yellow blossoms all around him. A brief memory of happy times fluttered by and Jim took to his grief once more. It was never easy. It would have been bad enough to have to have buried his son, but what was even worse was not being able to. Chris was lost at sea; his grave merely symbolic. Jim doubled over in grief over the tragedy and found himself sinking into every gruesome detail. He took a moment to wipe his tears and his eyes rested on a seeded dandelion standing next to the base of Chris' grave.

A sudden gust of wind knocked the perfect globe of fuzzy white against the cold grey stone and the seeds rose up in the updraft and blew away in all directions. Jim could almost believe Chris had tried to make a wish, a wish to comfort his grieving father. maybe he was not really so lost after all.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Spongy0llama profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Brannen 

      3 years ago from Canada

      Thank you! I haven't written a story in years, but I was moved by a family tragedy.

    • WillStarr profile image


      3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Well done Jake! Voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)