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Dancing Daffodils

Our daffodils have taken a real beating this spring.

We had some unseasonably warm weather this winter and in their optimistic way daffodils began popping up as early as late February. Some of mine bloomed shortly thereafter. Inevitably, temperatures dropped into the twenties a few nights in a row and at two or three different times. The poor things, shivering in the cold, covered with frost! Then there was the wild wind. And rain. Try as they might to stay upright, their heads bowed to the ground. The pretty faces they’d turned to the sky leaned down to contemplate the earth.

One of my cards, now retired, from many years ago

Stalwart daffodils offer many lessons. One could think: a) don’t be reckless; b) be patient and wait for spring; and c) everything is not a competition. But I prefer to take these lessons: a) persevere despite hardship; b) remain optimistic regardless of your circumstances; and c) never let your resilience flag. They do almost always pop back up, just as we can and (usually) do. Sure, some of them look pretty bedraggled and might be passed over for a spot in the living room vase. But doesn’t that just give them more time to turn their faces back up to the sun, more days to breathe in the cool spring air? Would you rather be bobbing in the spring breeze (okay, wind) or standing perfectly still in somebody’s house?

I began this in a bit of a low mood today. The moneylenders have gotten me down. But I have decided to take my inspiration from all the bouncy, vivacious daffodils. And what about the wildflowers?? It’s prime time for going on a wildflower hunt. And it’s completely free! You don’t need a thin dime to do it. You don’t even have to drive anywhere to find them. If you can’t get into the woods, you’ll still find wildflowers popping up in the yards and along sidewalks.So. Take a page from the Book of Daffodils. Bounce along. Turn your gaze to the earth and search for wildflowers. Seek out beauty. Pop back up if you’ve been knocked down. Nurture your resilience. And take a lesson from William Wordsworth (below). Life is good.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
― William Wordsworth, I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud
If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”
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