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"G'bye, Mom."

"Goodbye, Ray. Be a good boy."

She stood there for a moment and he had a sense of her being very light, as if even the light puffs of breeze blowing this morning might send her sailing away like a dandelion gone to seed. Then she got back into the car and started the engine.

From "The Long Walk".

I don't get what the sentence means. Can anyone help to spell it out?

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    He had a feeling that she was very light [like e.g. a feather], as if even the light puffs of breeze blowing this morning might send her sailing away like a dandelion gone to seed. - Have you ever blown on a dandelion flower when it has lots of seeds? Jun 6, 2022 at 8:54

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He had a feeling that she was very light [like e.g. a feather], as if even the light puffs of breeze blowing this morning might send her sailing away like a dandelion gone to seed. - Have you ever blown on a dandelion flower when it has lots of seeds? - @Michael_Harvey

To add on, I think this "exaggeration" might be Ray's love towards his mother.

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The narrator is really just saying that the mother looked like she was very light (the light that means the opposite of heavy), but is using a metaphor within a metaphor to say it.

The first metaphor is describing how light she was. She was as light as being able to be blown away by the breeze. The second metaphor is describing how something can be blown away by the breeze. It can be like a dandelion gone to seed.

For the specific imagery of a dandelion going to seed see here, and particularly:

And, as many a child discovers to their delight, when a dandelion sets seed, the flower (actually, hundreds of tiny florets) turns into a mass of seeds known as a dandelion clock. Each seed is suspended from a parachute-like stalk — easily released by a puff of breath.

(My emphasis)

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