Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

March 1, 2009


Sarah’s daffodils are blooming again and reminding me of her


        The daffodils blooming outside my study window are not merely daffodils. They are Sarah’s daffodils. Sarah planted them. She tended them. She loved them. And each winter when their yellow blooms burst upward toward the sun, they remind me of Sarah.

          I have no idea how many daffodil bulbs Sarah planted. She loved to work in the yard. More than likely she dug up several bulbs in her daughter Dot’s yard and planted them around our cabin. As daffodils do, they have multiplied over the years and continue to do so.

          Sarah, my wife’s mother, has been dead almost ten years but her daffodils keep her in our memory, especially in wintertime. No other flowers are blooming in our yard just now – only Sarah’s daffodils. They are flourishing, without any help from human hands, in two curving rows. They look like 10 or 12 lovely bouquets begging to be enjoyed, each bouquet a gift from Sarah.

          Daffodils are tough, much like Sarah was.  After they quit blooming, their green stems often fall victim to our land mower. Yet as sure as the cold months come, the daffodils will emerge and bloom again. Sarah was strong like her daffodils. She endured sorrow, poverty, loneliness, and fear but she always bounced back – and lived to be 99. She taught us a lot about perseverance and faith.

          Though there are many different species of daffodils, with blooms of different colors, for us daffodils are bright yellow blooms atop strong green stems. Yellow suited Sarah and yellow suits us.

          I read somewhere that daffodil bulbs last a long time, and that they will probably be around long after we are gone. Sarah left no land, no jewels, no fortune, but what she did leave breaks through the soil every year to brighten our world.

As I reflect on the meaning of her life, I marvel at Sarah’s unselfish spirit and her love of simple things. She never demanded anything for herself. She was always doing things for others. There is something inherently good about a woman who has the patience to plant daffodil bulbs that others can enjoy years after she had departed this life.

          I wonder when Sarah began to love daffodils. I don’t know but I like to think that her mother loved them and that growing up, Sarah loved them too. Mothers have a way of passing on their love of flowers to their children and grandchildren.

          Sarah never belonged to a garden club. She never invited friends over to admire her flower garden. She was a simple woman who grew up during hard times and never reached the promised land of prosperity. But she had integrity and never asked for a handout or a bailout.

          She believed that people ought to work for a living. Stamina was in her bones. She could get up, prepare a breakfast for her family, wash dirty dishes, wring the head off a chicken, fix a sumptuous lunch – and still have the energy to go out in the yard and rake leaves.

          I wish I had told Sarah when she was living how much she meant to me. Somehow, I never got around to paying her the tributes she deserved from my lips. But I hope she was listening when I went outside and thanked her daffodils for reminding me of the fine woman who gave me my precious wife.

          Bloom, daffodils, bloom! When you are blooming, Sarah lives! + + +