There is one street in our small town that, in the early spring, is lined with thousands and thousands of daffodils. We look forward to it every year and eagerly look for the sprouts beginning in mid-March.
When the daffodils are in bloom, there is noticeably more traffic on this street. People make side trips and detours just to see and be among them. Families stop to take pictures of their little ones among the flowers. Individuals walk by them slowly, taking in and admiring every one. It is a reminder not only that spring is upon us — that our long winter wait is over — but also to enjoy life: enjoy the vibrancy of the colors, the warm sun on our necks and the deep breaths of our lungs.
A group in town started planting the daffodil bulbs several years ago after a local woman died tragically, leaving a young daughter. The group wanted to do something to remember their friend in perpetuity and with joy, and received permission from the town to plant the bulbs at their own expense. The initial effort received such a positive response that the group has planted more and more bulbs each fall and soon other roads will be lined with bold hope each spring.
I didn’t know the woman for whom the bulbs were planted. She must have been very loved, as her memory has inspired this response from her friends. I am impressed also that her friends have kept up their efforts as the years have passed.
The daffodils have started sprouting this year. I see masses of green tips as I drive down that street, inching their way out of the still-cold ground. Within a week or so, it will be a yellow carpet again. Each year, as the bulbs naturalize and reproduce, there will be more and more flowers, spreading untamed under fences and toward tree trunks.
I wonder what the late woman’s daughter thinks when she sees this living tribute to the mother she lost too soon. I hope she sees the love.