Gone for several days.
When I returned home, it was early evening. Half-expected the dogs to be spinning and gleeful, but no thoughts about the daffodils!
Only buds when I left. Now laughing and rabble-rousing! Full blooms!
If you aren’t a flower person, you may not get it. It’s okay. There’re lots of things I don’t get.
But those of you who know what it’s like to suddenly wake up to forsythia stars and daffodil trumpets in gala attire—well, you know….
Pure joy to be greeted this way. Pure joy.
Maybe it’s the way gardeners feel about red beefy tomatoes. When that green tomato grows and turns cardinal red, it’s show-and-tell time!
Tomatoes and daffodils. The sun and its warmth. Magical.
What I experienced on returning home was a greeting. Almost a blessing or prayer. It had been a hard week.
It happened on the heels of winter. Startled me! Still seems miraculous! At last, the gray and brown earth gave way to bright whites and fluorescent yellows.
I guess I’ve always enjoyed flowers and could see their beauty, but I didn’t know their names, didn’t know what came from seed, bulb, or rhizome. Mainly, I just saw the art I gazed on.
“Hello, how are you?” and “So good to see you here.” A couple of ways people greet each other. It’s proper. It’s acknowledging another person. In some ways, it’s how we bless another.
As a teen, I’d greet by saying, “Hey.” That was south Arkansas talk. In those days, I had no idea how significant it was to greet another, how much weight my greeting could carry for the other person.
After thirty, I had a clue. Also learned how powerful it was to say someone’s name behind the greeting. Not always fast enough to follow through, but I knew.
I tell you this, and yet, I have a terrible time retaining names. I recognize faces, but I often struggle with names. It was even a struggle when I taught high schoolers in my 20’s and 30’s. Some years I had 130 names to remember. Could be another way God humbles some of us. Feels pretty dumb to not remember someone’s name, and you’re their teacher!
You know, of course, that my King Alfred Daffodils said nothing out loud to me that day, right? I came home, saw them in bunches and clusters, standing erect with straight necks, perfect heads, saying nothing. It was like they were just standing there silently singing praises.
In my book, that counts. Exactly what I needed.
I check them several times a day. Why? I guess to make sure they are really as beautiful as I last thought. This evening, they seem to be on a little stage with the sun slowly dropping in the background. Like a curtain closing.
Maybe they are a show. And when it’s dark and day is done, their white and yellow are still there. Harder to see and no applause, but still there.
They return every year before the grass turns green and growing, before the trees leaf out.
That greeting a few days ago by the daffodils was almost a chorus of hope—standing upright and reminding me that everything is okay or it would be, eventually. Spring is coming. I’m not to worry.
Tomorrow the daffodils will be sun-flooded again, if the weatherman is right.
So happy we planted those bulbs years ago. And yes, I know they’ll turn brown in a couple of weeks, or the wind will howl some night and lay them low. But for right now, I’m basking in the present.
Something about the feeling reminds me of a baby in the house. Just sayin’.
I missed out on the space between bud and wide-open bloom because I was out of town, but I’m not missing this moment.
May you find beauty and joy in something. I encourage you to claim it and take the memory inside yourself. Once you have it, hold on to it. It’s yours.
P.S. My best to each of my readers. Gratitude.
Daffodils in the yard, Norfork, Arkansas.
Photographed by Pat Durmon, March 2020.