Friday, March 21, 2008

Dialog With A Daffodil

I forgot my coat today. It’s warm and happy on its padded pale blue hanger in my closet. My scarves are there too, in the scarf bag. Leaving my outerwear at home was probably not a good choice – it’s darn cold today, and the skies are ominous.

As usual, the Spring memo didn’t make it to Washington. For some reason, however, we who live here celebrate the equinox on schedule without regard for the actual weather conditions. The stores have brilliant displays of spring flowers, all of which will promptly commit suicide upon their arrival in your yard. Or at least they do in mine. Each year I hopefully experiment with a container garden of primroses, cyclamen, and unknown other “spring” plants, optimistic that they will have been given a strong enough dose of Prozac to get by. Probably I should just get them an electric blanket. Hope springs eternal.

As part of the Spring ritual, a number of individuals gathered on Seattle streets yesterday to hand out daffodils to passers-by. Never mind that they all had to wear gloves and longjohns to prevent frostbite. I still got a big smile and a “Happy Spring” when presented with a pair of cheerful flowers as I leaned into the wind on my way to the bus.

Huddled at the bus stop, I watched my fellow commuters shiver their way up Fourth Avenue. Most of them were also carrying daffodils, brilliant patches of yellow in an otherwise grey urban scene. For most, stopping for a spring flower on a cold miserable day doesn’t seem to have much impact. One woman though, approaches with an entire bouquet in her arms, chatting happily to the daffodils.

Having spent four months working downtown, I no longer find it odd when folks talk to inanimate objects. This woman was clearly getting the intended joy and inspiration from her gift. I contemplate my own daffodils. They are indeed beautiful, and they smell nice. What if I talked to them? Would they answer? Would they tell me to buck up and quit complaining about the weather and appreciate my life? Or would they just have a story about being brutally ripped from the soil and stored in a refrigerated truck until they ended up stuck in my commuter bag in the wind.

I didn’t find out. The next person approaching was a bedraggled and grubby fellow carrying an old backpack stuffed to the bursting point with his worldly possessions. He was carrying two daffodils, regarding them with confusion. As he got closer, he looked up and started to smile. Without a word he walked over and gave me a big smile, handed me his flowers, then continued on his way down the street.

Happy Spring! (But don’t forget your coat)

Amaze and Amuse



Anonymous said...

Lovely piece!


Patience-please said...

Purely charming!


Jenn and the City

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