Daffodils are one of the earliest messengers of spring and after such a long late brutal winter, the warm weather has finally arrived. I think we are in need of a little dose of sunshine, and perhaps some poetry.
William Wordsmith may be famous for the poem, I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud, but I think I much prefer his sister Dorothy’s 1802 journal entry about the walk in the English Lake District which inspired the poem.
“When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway – We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea.”
This acre of wild daffodils in a wooded lot is enough to motivate me to start my daily walks again. Every spring I thank the lovely soul who originally planted these heirloom gems, as they have reseeded themselves over the years in a way that my modern bulbs never seem to do. They might start out in orderly clumps, but the squirrels have great fun transplanting them and they eventually end up lonely as a cloud.
They are especially lovely paired with the delicate blue of Siberian Squill, a bulb that can be invasive over time, but who would mind?
Daffodils are the most cheerful of flowers, so bright and sunny, waving in the breeze as if they are announcing that spring is here. No wonder they belong to the Narcissus family, they demand look at me, and we do! Welcome spring!
Postscript: for more pretty pics see May Flowers blog.