Post from my 'Underfoot' blog: www.katemillerwriting.wordpress.com
Yellow has traditionally been the colour of cowardice, but it seems to me to be the colour of resilience. The sunflower yellow of the Ukrainian flag is a life-sustaining yellow; so far the people there have met a horrific invasion with an energy and courage that makes me ask myself, what would I do? Could I find the hope, to resist?
The brutality of a senseless war is clouding this spring, but spring has still begun. Here, it is daffodils that give us that energising burst of yellow. I love daffodils. They come up year after year, no matter what. Winter has been relatively mild this year, aside from the destructive storms, but even after the worst of snow, frost and rain, daffodils will flower, undeterred.
It's a cold, bright morning and we’re walking to Panshanger to look for daffodils. Last time I was there, I could see their spikes coming up among the snowdrops.
Birds are singing this morning and as I stop to take in a blackthorn in bloom, a wren breaks out in piercing song.
In Panshanger Park, jackdaws are busy in the Great Oak, chacking to themselves, then flying out to the fields to poke around for worms. The dead oak trees here, full of holes, are a gift to them. We watch two jackdaw pairs disappear into adjacent holes in an old oak, presumably where they are nesting, as neighbours.
In the wood around the Great Oak, daffodils look pretty in the dappled light, but on the south-facing slope of the wood, they’ve exploded into full brilliance. These small flowers, some of them possibly descendants of bulbs planted more than a century ago, have been flowering spring after spring, through the years when the estate was neglected and unvisited, closed off, when their blooms went unseen. Many are double flowers, fluffy as yellow pom-poms.
Wordsworth’s famous poem about ‘a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils’ is not called Daffodils, but ‘The Inward Eye’. It’s about the lasting ‘wealth’ he feels he gained from seeing this wild display.
They flash upon that inward eye…
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.
Daffodils of the heart. Giving strength.