As a small child sitting cross legged on a quilt in the grass, I remember my neighborhood friends, and my twin sister and I all laughing and chatting. Then one of my adult relatives walked over and leaned into our conversation. He held up a dandelion and interjected, “Momma had a baby and her head popped off! See?” He then popped off the dandelion flower from its stem and I sat there in horror while the other girls giggled! Is it true, I wondered? I would never want to give birth if my head was going to pop off after my baby was born. My mom’s head didn’t do that after we were born. I didn’t think so anyways. But I was still scared of the words he just hadspoken, and the words stayed in my mind for a long time.

I asked another adult if this was true. She said she did not think it would ever happen, however if you take a dandelion and rub it under someone’s chin, you could tell if they liked butter or not if you saw a yellow mark there. She said I could tell if that was true as she preceded to wipe the dandelion flower under my own chin. I believed her pretty much because I, after all, I did like butter.

 As I grew up, she would tell me other superstitions such as if she had put on clothing inside out, she would have to leave it that way all day or she would have bad luck. I was told I should never walk under a ladder, break a mirror and to NEVER walk on the cracks in a sidewalk or it would break my mother’s back. ‘Just in case’ she was correct, I was burdened on my daily walks to school frantically avoiding sidewalk cracks.

 As adults we may hear myths and fearful teachings in our own churches /congregations that dictate cultural rules and regulations to keep us underfoot, and not question the system to avoid consequences. Sometimes these unspoken rules keep us living in bondage and binds us up, so we are not functionally healthy, the way God created us to live individually as well as in a community.  For instance, some have been taught to simply ‘ignore’ our individual feelings or experiences, being thankful the situation is not worse. I believe G-d wants us to be forthright with our thoughts and feelings and that He cares about each one of us and all the details we question or experience! He does not belittle our feelings. He wants us to be flowing in the gifts He has created and live strongly in His truth alone. I believe if we are aiming for the Lord with a sincere and honest heart, we can feel free in His loving kindness and live in His peace, not bound up in myths, superstitions, unspoken judgements that may not be Biblical. I think He would rather us create childhood dandelion bracelets and be lovely and REAL alongside Him!

Charlenea Kay Wirth

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