Living the Dream

Happiness among the daffodils

I have always loved watching the first flowers of the year pop out of the ground and slowly, ever so slowly, make their way from infant hood into greenery, budding and then finally into the beauty that they have been concealing. My mom feels the same way about butterflies, but I love perennials. I get so excited to meet them again each spring, making sure that each of my old friends returns to me. Worried when one seems to lag far behind another in their quest for the sunlight. 

Those first crocus are always a delight, whether they are covered in snow or not, those little blasts of purple always make me feel like I have succeeded in something. Whether it be friendship or making spring happen, I am not really sure. But crocuses are frustrating around here as some years we never get to see them at all. This year, I only got two out of 30. So much for all that warm weather. 

But it’s not really the crocus that makes my heart sing. Growing up, my house was awash with daffodils once spring rolled around. Our elementary school sold daffodil bulbs as a fundraiser (for what, I honestly have no idea), and my dad was obviously a big proponent of supporting the school. Our colors were green & gold, and so daffodils were the perfect choice. 

I’m pretty sure he bought bulbs by the hundreds or at least that is what it felt like, as every spring our home would be awash in daffodils. Not a single section of the hill was uncovered with bulbs. He hid them like easter eggs, with random bunches of daffodils sprouting each year in the woods. My dad might have even moved them every year just to mess with us. That sounds like something he would have done but I could never prove it. 

Something has always been missing at both my mom and my home in Killington. For years, I’ve been wondering what it was and then last spring my mom went out and bought a huge bag of daffodil bulbs. The really big kind that are almost the size of your palm. We split the bag between us, so we would each have over a hundred daffodils on our properties. We even bought a fancy drill bit just for bulbs so that we could do it just like dad had done. 

The past few weeks have been amazing. As the bulbs have come up, it’s almost like my dad is here with us, ,saying hello and looking out for us. I even found myself saying, “Hi Dad” randomly to one of the daffodils as I was walking around the property the other day. It stopped me short and I thought I was going to burst into tears right there. 

But I didn’t. Because daffodils are one of those flowers that can really only bring you joy. In fact, giving a bunch of daffodils to someone is said to ensure happiness – but be sure you don’t give just one. It would be like jinxing someone for life. Because a group of daffodils, or wandering through a large number of them, is like wandering amongst friends. To be surrounded by love and happiness and friendship. 

And that is exactly what I felt as I walked through my garden, surrounded by daffodils. I felt alive, with the promise of earth’s new spring beginnings but also because I knew my dad was there with me. It was amazing. A walk through the daffodils simply filled me with joy and tranquility and I think I might be addicted to planting them, just like my dad was 35 years ago. 

Even in this rain, they stand bright and cheerful. Their bright yellow faces thriving in the spring rains that always have seemed so gloomy in the past. They love the rain. They love being outside. They love life. Exactly like my dad. He loved absolutely everything with almost a child-like wonder. Always fascinated by the littlest details of life. And he loved daffodils. And Marigolds. Probably because they were the only plants the deer didn’t eat.

So I am going to continue to walk through my garden every morning, spending time with my dad and telling him how the ski season went. Because I know that he would want to hear everything and somehow I feel that being there, amongst the daffodils, is a place we could sit and talk. Although the only times we were ever sitting and talking was while we were driving to go skiing somewhere. But somehow, the daffodils have become my friends. And I will walk amongst them, hang out with my dad and be filled with happiness.

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