Daffodils

Daffodils are the first flowers of spring. This year I saw my first ones in January! Only in Georgia, with our crazy weather would the flowers be confused as to what season it is. Now that it is February their yellow faces are gathered in fields and along roadsides, fully awake and poised for spring. I only hope that a cold snap doesn’t kill them since they decided to show up early this year.
When I saw the first ones of the season I couldn’t help but think of Louise. Daffodils were one of her favorite flowers. Second only to Sunflowers. Her hatred of winter is a well known fact. She did not like the cold, nor the drab landscape of browns and grays. She felt that the deadness of winter was depressing. Even in the beauty of a newly fallen snow once the pictures were taken, and she had sledded with the kids a few runs down the hill, she was ready for it to be gone. So when the first daffodil peeked its head out of the monotone ground it was cause for celebration. It meant that spring was indeed on its way, which would be followed by summer…her favorite season. I can see her clap with excitement, as she adds a spring to her step. It seems that just a little tad of yellow could chase her blues away.
In her enthusiasm she would run to the nursery and start buying flowers to put out. For many years she jumped the gun and the freeze ruined her work. To her, it seemed as if there was no rhyme or reason to the planting, until one particular year, when she visited a local nursery to purchase some flowers to plant. She asked the old farmer how to know when the time is right.
He said, “Ma’am, look at that mountain over there and tell me what you see.”
She said, “An ugly brown mountain.”
“That’s right. See the green around the base of the mountain? When that gets all the way to the top, then you plant.”
She waited, and though it liked to killed her, it worked. She didn’t lose one plant that year. Another year, she told me, the green was almost to the top of the mountain. It was very close, so she figured close enough. (She wasn’t usually a very patient person.) She planted; there was a freak spring snow that killed everything. After that she stuck by the old farmer’s advice. But the yellow faces were the light at the end of the dark, winter tunnel. Once they opened up, Louise’s face brightened in unison with theirs. All it took was one daffodil for the transformation to begin.

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