Daffodils must be the most optimistic plant species on the planet. Around here, the scouts will poke their bright yellow faces out with the slightest hint of winter’s end. These early ones will be nipped by a turn in the weather, only to be replaced time and time again until spring finally arrives.
They don’t fear the ravages of weather. They aren’t even afraid to poke their yellow faces up above a layer of snow. The message is the important thing, “The planet has lived through another winter and better days are just ahead.”
Folks call them “buttercups,” but really they are daffodils. What makes their appearance all the more poignant is that they often appear at the site of some homeplace that is long forgotten and unmarked except for the bright splendor of these springtime beauties.
These places are often marked as well by a giant oak tree that once gave shade to a family on a summer’s afternoon. Little else remains. Even the road that led to the site may have disappeared. But the daffodils haven’t.
It is as though they are saying, “Hey everybody, someone lived here once, and they cared enough about the place to plant flowers. We haven’t forgotten, nor should you.”
Sometime even the old timers can’t recall who lived on the place. Other times there may be a slight wafting of remembrance such as, “That’s where that Elkins boy got killed during that tornado back in ’52.” Or, “There used to be a house there when I was a kid.”
“There used to be a house there.” It’s a common saying in these parts. In this modern “move-away, throw-away” world, we tend to go away and leave things, even the sweat and effort that once made a place a home. It often seems that nobody cares for the old days and where a family may have settled, struggled, and survived against all odds.
The daffodils do. They shout it out with joy each spring, lest we forget.