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The Way Sunshine Smells

We picked dandelions and put them on the kitchen table in a mason jar. My mom would take them and put them there not saying they were weeds. Members of Kathy’s family ate dandelion greens as a salad. As our boys grew up, they picked dandelions and we put them in vases for a few days as the dandelions gave up their prime moments and shared the way sunshine smells.

Tamara Madison wrote this poem about daffodils not dandelions. It reminds me of the wonder we live in. Nature is transient. It moves at its pace and sometimes we pay attention to it. In a world filled with busyness, it is hard to realize we have little control over what happens outside our self. We control our personal responses to the world and its phenomena, human and non-human. When I reflect on what is was like to be a child and the many things I did not take for granted, it points out the transience I live with and a way to approach it. Daffodils and dandelions are the way sunshine smells and honoring me with their presence, as I honor them.

Ten daffodils stand in a pasta sauce jar
giving up their moment of prime
to brighten this cluttered kitchen table.

Yellow lovelies, I am honored
to have you here. Outside you’d be
just another bit of the great flowering world,
but in my kitchen, among the papers,
the bottles, the bananas growing tired
in the bowl, you are amazement itself.

Outside amid the orange blossoms,
the roses, the sweet alyssum,
your light scent would be lost.
Here, you turn this morning kitchen
Into a festival of fragrance – you
are the way sunshine smells.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

8 responses »

  1. You are the way sunshine smells! Ivon, this is a memorable poem my brother…simply lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great post! I remember mom hanging clothes on the clothes line to dry and always thought that was the fragrance of sunshine. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • I have memories of that, as well. We hung the clothes outside even in sub-zero weather so it had to thaw when we brought it back in. Thank you for another great memory Natalie.

  3. Beautifully written! I loved how you have written about honoring each other, and also ‘the way sunshine smells’. Regards.

  4. I smiled when I read dandelions. When I was a kid growing up in France we would eat dandelions as a salad. My mom added sliced hard boiled eggs and smoked fish ressembling anchovies but less salty. I don’t know the name in English and have never found any in the US.
    Reading about dandelions brought back this salad that I loved and miss a lot. Thank you.

    • You are welcome Evelyne. My mother-in-law ate dandelion salad. I don’t think it is common fare in modern Canadian cuisine, but we ate things on the farm, when we visited, that were unique.


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