Ever since I memorized it in 7th grade, William Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils has delighted me. Often, I found myself quoting lines from it in March as my yard in France would burst with white and yellow beauty.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth~

And how I loved photographing these beauties “tossing their heads in sprightly dance”, as Wordsworth so eloquently and accurately put it.

In Atlanta, daffodils make their appearance in February. I shared in my remembrance for my father that taking a walk around the block of my parents’ home with my father has always been a simple and profound joy to me.

This February, walking around the block was deeply bittersweet. Until…on one of my walks shortly after Daddy ‘graduated to heaven’, I noticed hundreds of daffodils blooming in the woods. And my heart did fill with pleasure just observing them.

A few days later, as Paul and I were again taking a walk around the block, we stopped to chat with the couple whose woods boast such splendor. They were friends of my dad, loved him, and were sorry that they would be out of town and unable to attend the memorial. When I commented on the joy their daffodils brought me in this otherwise difficult season, they invited me to drop by whenever I wanted and to pick as many daffodils as I wanted to freshen up my father’s house for the guests who would be coming after the service.

Since the memorial was two weeks after my father’s passing, the flowers we’d already received had wilted. I had hoped to get more fresh flowers for the house, and specifically white and yellow ones because these colors are also the colors of my father’s beloved alma mater, Georgia Tech. He supported this great institution with his heart and soul and finances for 60+ years.

(The Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech sat outside the entrance to the church at my father’s memorial as testimony to his love of the school and the school’s appreciation for his devotion.)

So the day before the memorial, Paul and I took a trashcan (for lack of finding a bucket) and gathered daffodils.

In the simple pleasure of gathering daffodils, as with daily arrival of the red cardinal, the Lord reminded me again of His glorious presence in the midst of our dark valley and how all of nature groans with us and yet, at the same time, celebrates life and life everlasting.

Are you familiar with Wordsworth’s poem? Or is there another poem that brings you a particular joy in spring?

ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog, Letters to the Lord.

4 Comments on “Letters to the Lord: Daffodils

  1. Farther north my daffodils are just starting to bloom now in April. As you say, they do remind me of Wordsworth’s poem. My mother passed away just a month ago and her flowers were bluebells. I love how these beautiful flowers remind us of wonderful people in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth,

    Thank you for sharing this, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Your love for him flows through all that you’ve written about him. Please accept my condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How sweet to read this post… precious memory of walks with your dad…(mine also was a ramblin’ wreck❤️ What a precious idea to have that in front of the church…)
    I vividly remember having to illustrate this poem in grade school with my best attempt to draw a pretty yellow daffodil- ( I no doubt must have traced it since I cannot draw a lick!) I can picture it and thank you for reminding me- this poem was the first to introduce me to the emotion communicated in a poem…❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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