About Dandelions, Dragonflies, and other Childhood Myths.
Of childhood memories
Most children have had a little red wagon, or other favorite toy, that we remember well into adult hood.
The abstract memories associated with Dandelions, Dragonflies, and Other Childhood Myths, leave different and contrasting kinds of lasting impressions on our minds throughout our lives as adults.
Childhood memories of myths, monsters, and magic that inhabit the dreams of a child also leave a lasting impression on our lives.
But the burning question is: Why do we teach our children such nonsense?
When i was but a wee lad growing up in a very small town in northern New England, there were some scary stories, fantasies, and myths told to children to frighten them. Certainly not to enlighten enlighten them.
Traditional and local lore, old wives' tales, and warnings of boogeymen under the bed, were common place to keep children in their beds at night, and otherwise alert them to the old ways, and beliefs, of the culture we were born into.
Dragonfly and dandelions
Cooking dandelions recipe from: allrecipes.com
- Dandelion Greens with a Kick Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Dandelion greens make a terrific side dish, especially when cooked with onion, garlic, and a big pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Me and My Dragonfly (Totem)
Several years ago, on a company camping trip, several of us had gathered around a picnic table just killing time until everyone arrived. Barb, our resident Wiccan, was shuffling a deck of medicine cards and offering to read them for us. Of course..
Dandelions, Dragonflies and Bible stories
Dandelions were nasty weeds that ruined the lawn and had to be pulled out of the vegetable gardens on a regular basis, or they would take over and kill the grass and vegetables that were to be canned and stored in our cool dark larder for winter consumption.
So, dandelions were just a nasty weed wreaking havoc in our lives and cutting into our play time outside in the beautiful New England summer weather.
Dragonflies were nature's "sewing needles" to the young children. Older kids, and some mean old adults, would tell us to "beware of the the dragonflies" as they would sew up your eyes, ears and mouths if we were bad -- said bad words, talked back to adults, listened to evil thoughts, or looked at 'bad things' (don't make me explain that one).
Bible stories. Then there were those awful scary and frightening catechism classes we were forced to attend and endure. Those systematic instructional soul beatings, heart wrenching stories of how we are all sinners and will surely spend eternity in hell if we did not abide by every word spoken by our priests or pastors or rabbis. As if they were the only ones who could speak to "God" and get us into heaven, as long as we were 'good children', prayed every day, attended church services regularly and of course 'tithed-a-tenth' to the church.
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When truth takes over
As we grew up, we learned that dandelions were not just nasty weeds after all. They were an edible, nutritious, and healthy food and made excellent 'dandelion wine'.
Food growers discouraged the ingestion of this 'weed' - not because it was in any way bad for us, but it could not be exploited, harvested, and/or used to make a profit from, as it was a natural plant that grew all around us in the wild.
Much like "fiddle heads"; another perennial favorite - the young unfurling fronds of some ferns often eaten as greens. They too grew wild, along river banks, and wetlands, and were harvested for personal use, and canned or frozen, for winter consumption. These two were my personal favorite foods as a child- dandelions and fiddle heads.
As we learned about flora and fauna, we also learned that those scary myths about 'nature's sewing needles' were just that - scary stories without any basis in logic or reality.
Dragonflies, also called: darner, darning needle, devil's arrow, or devil's darning needle. They are just insects characterized by four large, many veined, membranous wings that, when at rest, are held horizontally and at right angles to the longitudinal body, rather than vertically as in other sub orders, such as the zygoptera, or damselflies.
It is agile, with bulging eyes that make up most of its head, and has a wing span of up to 16 centimeters (approx. 6.5 inches).
It is one of the fastest flying, and most predacious insects. In 30 minutes it can eat its own weight in food. They also exhibit unusual mating behavior. They differ from most insects by having the male copulatory organs at the front part of the abdomen rather than at the end. Dragonflies often fly in tandem during the transfer of sperm; many pairs remain in this position until after the female has laid her eggs.
Dragonflies are beautiful, benign, and harmless to humans.
(The video is tribute to the beauties of nature).
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When truth is ignored - the final myths
So, we come to the third childhood myth regarding those awful bible classes.
As we grew into adulthood we have learned that the dandelions and dragonflies are not as we were taught, because of reason, science, logic, and the ability to put those fearful teachings in their proper perspectives.
Why do we maintain those cataclysmic catechism horror stories as truths without rational logical reasoning?
Religious leaders call it faith.
Intelligent adults call it what it is:
It is a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor and visceral functions. It is also a behavior exhibiting overwhelming, or unmanageable fear, or emotional excess.
The constant bombardment of a child's mind with religious nonsense is the "hysteroid" that propels the child's mind to the acceptance of what they are told is truth even when logic dictates that it cannot be so.
The fear of the unfathomable punishment for not believing, is greater than the logical, and rational, ability to see and process these teachings - in the same way we see the reality of dandelions and dragonflies.
Sadly enough the ''delusional beliefs'' regarding religion haunts us for the rest of our lives.