When the ground is frozen, hard, dry, and brown, I try to imagine them as they were in their majesty the previous April. I pass by day after day, shaking my head over the improbability that they will rise again. My pessimism is reinforced by the winter grey and brown thicket of branches that serve as their backdrop. They are all dead. There is no hope.
But I am a mere human fool. I cannot give up on the daffodils. I am tortured at my own hands, forcing myself to search for any sign of life. What would have the audacity to spring out of this deadly mess?
And then on a frigid afternoon, I see a barely perceptible sign of life. A little green point is poking through the dirt. My heart quickens, not daring to believe or hope. When I return several days later, I am excited to see the green point has become an inch of emerald showing off to its jealous surrounding thicket. The daffodils have survived.
My gratitude is short-lived. I am an impatient human. I scold the daffodils about how long it is taking for them to grow. “Come on, show me a decent stem,” I call out to them. They do not listen to me and take their own sweet time.
The stems continue to rise at a pace they seem to be comfortable with, ignoring my pleas. The group becomes more populated as reluctant members decide to join them and thicken the patch. My expectation that they will ever bloom is diminished when I see their yellow cousins, the hardy but less spectacular forsythia beat them to the finish line.
But my daffodils will not be cajoled, scolded, or even cheered into blossoming. Their favorite song is Frank Sinatra’s My Way.
When the moment finally arrives and I happen upon the crowd of jubilant faces, yellow and proud, I am thrilled. They did it! I knew they would, deep in my heart. My doubt was faint, never real. The magnificence of the daffodils has redeemed them and me.
And that is how the daffodils get me to THE END, dear readers and fellow writers.