I can describe it no other way than-relentless. The snow pounded and the wind cut right through me as if old man winter needed to remind me of his presence. The snow piled high and tucked the landscape under a winter blanket. With each new snowfall, I forced myself to remember the very blanket that challenged my patience was warming new life. That under the drifts piling high was beauty unfolding.
The spring after she died I planted with intensity. I spent hours on my knees digging- digging deep with a desire to replace craters of open earth with life abounding. I created gardens filled with all she would love- specimens that would attract flocks of butterflies, blooms that would paint the landscape with her favorite colors and fill the air with aromas that reminded me of the sweet smell of her washed and still damp hair. It was the daffodils though- the innocence of the daffodils-that took me back to the time and place she’d delight in the slightest sign of spring.
The first small emergence from the barren earth would send her on a hunt for more. She would fill her afternoons acknowledging each and every sign that spring had arrived. The slightest bud on a tree, robins gracing the front lawn or the small green sprout never escaped her finds. Each announced with such excitement I’d sometimes wonder if someone had arrived to surprise us. She’d delight in the daffodils, hovering over the clumps- patiently waiting for the day they would point their faces to the sky. Only then would she gather and bundle and proudly present her gift.
As I uncovered the gardens and cut back what had been lost, I whispered thanks for what had survived the long winter. As I breathed deep the first signs of spring, I saw the small clump under the tree by her swing. We spotted it at the same time- my brave one spoke what I only dared to think. “Look Mama, the daffodils.” Yes- the daffodils have broken through and with them a whispered promise of all that is to come.