Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Winter is over because Sarah’s
daffodils are blooming again
Sarah’s daffodils are blooming again
so I know wintertime is past. The faithful flowers outside my study window are
not merely daffodils; they are Sarah’s daffodils. Sarah planted them. Sarah
tended them. Sarah loved them. And every year when their yellow blooms burst
upward toward the sun, the face of Sarah Brown reappears in my memory.
I do not know 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. Daffodils pay a lovely
dividend to the Gardner.
Sarah was my wife’s mother. She lived
into her 99th year. Though she left us a dozen years ago her
daffodils keep her alive in our memory. They are the first flowers to bloom as
winter days diminish. Sarah’s daffodils are flourishing without any help from human
hands. They seem like lovely bouquets begging to be enjoyed, each bouquet a
gift from Sarah.
Daffodils are tough like Sarah
was. After they quit blooming, their
green stems often fall victim to our land mower. Yet as surely as the cold
months come, the daffodils emerge and bloom again. Sarah was strong like her
daffodils. She endured sorrow, poverty, loneliness, and fear but she always
bounced back. She taught us a lot about perseverance and faith.
Though there are many different
species of daffodils, for us daffodils are bright yellow blooms atop strong
green stems. Yellow suited Sarah and yellow suits us. I understand that daffodil
bulbs last a long time and will 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.
Reflecting 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 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. When the yard is laden with leaves I long for Sarah; how she loved to
clean a yard!
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! And I remember
how blessed I am. + + +