a life in bloom...

one of my moments of grace this week was that 
i bought myself some daffodils for my birthday on Friday...
stopped in to Trader Joes and grabbed a few bunches 
out of the stacks of boxes they have in the store.

written on the side of those boxes is something that made me smile:
'Grown in Washington'
i may not be able to enjoy my favorite flowers blooming across acres of Skagit Valley anymore,
but i can still see their happy bobbing faces on my desk 
and know that they came from those same fields!

as i looked at them,
i realized how much like life they are...
how much like ME they are.

daffodils are hopeful. 
they manage to sprout up out of the cold ground when it's still winter. 
things may look bleak and hopeless - but it doesn't stop them.

daffodils are tenacious.
the soil they are planted in may be soft and loamy or hard and rocky,
but they grow no matter what. they hold on when other flowers rot.
you can forget to plant them in the fall and leave them in a cold basement,
and they'll spring to life right in the mesh bag on the floor...

daffodils are determined.

animals and lawn mowers may be determined to destroy them, 
but they just recuperate, put on new leaves, and sprout again.
sneaky little squirrels seem to be the only thing that can truly do them in ;) 

daffodils are devoted.
it may have been the worst, wettest, coldest winter in a hundred years
but those daffodils WILL bloom, you can count on it.
they'll be there to greet Spring because it's what they are supposed to do.

daffodils are all about preparation.
the bulbs spend 10 months in the darkness of the ground preparing to bloom,
while their raucous beauty shines for only a few weeks.
it's what we DON'T see that makes them so strong and able to do what they do.

the flowering cycle of daffodils is something to learn from, too:

daffodils start out as a tightly-bound bud, barely visible on the stalk.
small, protected, and hesitant, the bud sits and waits for the right time to peek out.

when the days are warm enough, the stem grows longer
and the bud peeks out encased by a thin leafy membrane.
it's still protected, but is ready to show itself a little.

as Spring arrives, the membrane peels back and the bright happy yellow flower
it unfurls itself in a day, opening up to show all of the beauty that it was designed to.
it unabashedly stands up tall, waves in the wind, and turns its face to the sun,
a perfect herald of Spring that you can't help but notice.
the fresh, clean earthy scent of daffodils is something i look forward to each Spring.

one bulb can have many buds,
so that you see all of the stages of life on one plant at the same time.

and then, as the days go on, a daffodil bloom slowly fades, 
color deepening, petals growing tissue-thin, and fragrance growing more potent.
but it's not done yet, not by a long shot...

the petals dry and blow away, 
leaving green blades that gather energy from the sun so that next year's blooms will be even better.
as those leaves turn yellow and then fade to brown, their sculptural beauty still adorns the garden
(and for me, makes a lovely little nest to display!)

even in dormancy, the daffodil bulb continues on its journey,
gathering strength from the soil it sits in
[and the inevitable FERTILIZER that gets dumped on it]
preparing for the next time it is called upon to light up the world with its beauty.
but no matter how deep that fertilizer gets or how cold the world is,
those little bulbs just never give up because they know what they were created for:  
to bloom.

1 comment:

Sister Patty said...

What a lovely blog...

<3 <3 <3