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Inspired in part by Carol’s post on this blog, Back Yard Alchemy, I walked outside to my thawing back yard looking for some signs of spring.

A few tiny yellow bells bloomed on the forsythia bushes rooted from my grandmother’s stock. One tiny yellow crocus, forgotten when the bed was moved, sneaked up through the grass and bloomed despite conditions that would not seem favorable. And early blooms from a trio of daffodils now lay on the muddy ground, too weak to raise their faces toward the sun.

We have written about daffodils and forsythia on this blog before–at least once a year for the last three years: Fourteen Daffodils and Forsythia and Collage. These harbingers of spring do seem to symbolize hope in our lives just when it seems darkest all around us.

Daffodils and forsythia return to bloom year after year, sometimes marking old home places that have been stripped of the homes that once stood. My late aunt Lucile picked petite IMG_5803daffodils from the yard of an old home nearby to put on graves one early Easter. My daughter gathered a bouquet of daffodils to take to church on another Easter just a year before she died. Her new shoes held permanent mud stains. Carol, leader of the Farther Along group, brought daffodils to our writing session, one for each of our children, the first spring we met. The ones I picked from their droop yesterday were transplanted from my mother’s yard and had construction debris covering them for part of the fall. They had begun to emerge in warm December and weathered the snows and ice of January and February.

So many literary references to daffodils abound. The daffodils that inspired Wordsworth, “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance” were relatives of the droopy ones I saw yesterday, but when I brought my three inside, they began to lose the droop. They may have been crushed by weather, but they bloom. They are not broken; they survive.

What’s your daffodil story, your story of hope?