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March’s sunrays play the comedian, intent upon joshing buds erupting from rough canes of the forsythia bush next to my porch. For seven springs I have gloried in its abrupt flowering, fingered its yellow bell-shaped blossoms, studied its rain-soaked pendant shapes shielding reproductive parts, sorrowed over storms splatting spent-yellows within pools of mud; then, later noted its fruit: several winged seeds in dry capsules.

Such was also my experience of tangled mounds of forsythias in the nearby woods when able to walk the cinder path: their color wafting me to a wordless realm, their untidiness transporting me to a strange order that made total sense.

Yet, the process of unfolding happened too quickly, multiple lessons held over to the following year, if I remembered—Perhaps this year will be different.

“This is the first daffodil that’s bloomed in my garden. I wanted you to have it,” said Eunice, the hospice chaplain as she handed it to me, its stem still bearing March’s chill. It was time for our Thursday morning visit, ongoing for over two years. Her smiling eyes met mine as she unzipped her jacket and followed me into the kitchen for a vase.

Her gift stirred me deeply—the harbinger of seasonal change ushering the return of color to washed-out landscapes, sonorous with the depleted energies of my old body. Yet, elation coursed through my hands while placing the daffodil in a vase filled with water.  

The plant’s six yellow petals and fluted cup or corona, though snipped from its earth-home, will gladden my psyche for days ahead. A close look within the corona reveals the plant’s reproductive system: six male stamens, surrounding the female pistil. Such flowering dates from the time of the Romans carrying these plants to Britain. In my perception, such longevity attests to the ongoing mystery of creation, that it is good, from the book of Genesis.

Despite spring’s hesitant warm-ups, daffodils have quickened my spirit, even more so this year. Such blooming splits apart their protective covering or spathe: such will be my experience, in time—some spring.

It happened again in my barren flower bed: through heaps of graying mulch resembling a ghost town with abandoned mine shafts emerged the solitary gold crocus, its glossy petals yearning for the sun, its striped blades greening in March breezes.

What is unique about this blooming is its recurrence, in the same place, for the past nine years, thwarting winter’s bite and jumpstarting spring’s promise.

Ecstatic by the splash of fresh color, gladness peaks, and I give thanks. 

If Creator God enlivens this solitary gold crocus, year after year…

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