Planting Daffodils

When we moved into our new home, August had wilted the shrubbery and dried up any flowers. The fall brought a frost that finished off most of the green in the yard. Winter brought a palette of grays and browns. A nature-lover, I longed for the inviting beauty of perennials and annuals I had carefully planted around the house we sold to move. My sense of loss underscored a general sense of looking back and missing life as it had been. Then, one day, as I sat writing while looking out the window at the stark sculptures of empty oak trees above a dormant lawn, I was startled by a surprise! Near a large tree, slender tongues of green were pushing up through the moist soil and dried grass. I jumped up from my chair and ran out into the yard to look closer. What I saw overjoyed me! Across the yard, around each tree trunk, were the insistent sprouts of dozens of bulbs. Someone before me had also needed a reminder of spring's arrival, had knelt in the dirt and planted the bulbs even as frost was coming, and had given me this blessing for my spirit. I imagined a woman like me needing Nature's miraculous renewal. Within a few days, the lovely green blades gave way to a sea of yellow as blossom after delicate daffodil blossom bobbed and swayed in the sun. Walking among them and writing in view of them gave me new inspirations, new ideas, new perspectives. I turned my focus toward the future and felt its possibilities; I let go of my longing for the past. Of course, as life moved on, the daffodils faded, but I did not forget them. When the next fall's colder days arrived, wanting to add my own effort to that of the previous owners, I knelt as a kind of prayer to plant my own daffodil bulbs among the others. Now each March those bloom too and the bulbs have multiplied their beauty! This is how life is, I think. We can either mourn what we don't have anymore or just accept the way things are even if we aren't happy -- or, in the midst of personal winters, we can take action to make the future brighter for ourselves and others. I have kept the act of planting daffodils as an inspiration: use every day to plant for spring! Today, it's early March and hundreds of daffodils are blooming, and I am celebrating how beautiful life can be!

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