Friday, April 3, 2009

I've got sunshine...

One of my fondest spring memories of childhood was when I was about 8 or 9, and my BFF (before the term existed), Conley, invited me to her family cabin in April near Cumberland Lake. That trip was incredibly rainy, as April should be, and one of the outings of the weekend was to a place her grandmother, "Beans", called Daffodil Hill.

It was classic spring weather, just like today in Pittsburgh: rainy, blustery, cool. If I didn't know better, I'd call it dreary. I wouldn't say I was enthusiastic about the walk in the woods, but suddenly, the woods were lit from the ground by what seemed like millions of daffodils.

Since then, I have carried that image in my mind as a garden to aspire to. I'll probably never go back to Monticello, Kentucky in April and see that particular spot, but I have tried to recreate it. Before we had our own yard, I described the image to my in-laws, and they have planted probably a 1000 daffodils in their own little woodland - which unfortunately, I don't get to see at peak bloom nearly as often as I'd like. But in turn, they have helped us stock up our own daffodil population.

We're not quite "there" yet, with "there" being the image I still carry of that solid swath of buttery yellow under a wet, grey sky and dark tree trunks. But progress is being made. This year, colonies of bright daffodils peek out from the wet brown leaves, under the fertile, dripping spring rain, and I can see little bits of Daffodil Hill, to share with my own daughters. I've heard people calling this weather dreary, but I don't really see it that way. The sunshine is just in a different place today.

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