Dancing with the daffodils!

daffodils

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

Cheery in its shade of exuberance reflecting through a prime residence across the yellow scheme of colors, pretty as a picture in smiling beauty, all radiant and happy of course in the distinction of being the first flowery marker of the advent of the boisterous beauty of spring, the daffodil is a visage in all things brimming with the alluring enchantedness through which life reveals as the worthiest of entities scouted out in this whole wide world of immense charm. Dancing with joy as they sway to the crisp flow of the cool spring air, their heads delightfully fluttering in that view of golden glamour, sparking joy in hearts and rekindling hope in souls, permeating the anyway enamoring essence of a season celebratory of life across all its rooting in promising beginnings, a definite harbinger of fresh cheer, wafting through a fragrant residing in the buoyant airs of its lively spirit, these immensely happy pictures encompassed within the pretty facet of the floral identity have forever had men and women and poets and artists and entire cultures and nations enticed so much so that has led them to be explored along the lines of the poesy and the pros, even finding expression symbols of traditions and beliefs with entire festivals and celebrations emerging from the fancied assertion of this flower in all liveliness. For indeed, in their very resplendence of occurrence in mostly that prominent assertion of the captivating shade of yellow, these tall trails of an ecstatic existence in immense flowery frills make for a sight and synonym in all things invigorating of the very essence in every pursuit of life and living.

Endowing upon a spring world redolent with a myriad of all hues possible to be derived from the chromatic range of what nature has nurtured in her precious most of coffers the blessings of this pop of yellow are the daffodils that shine and sparkle and smile in not just the radiance of the unmissable lustre in their color but also in their offerings of the ultimate good graciousness of hope and positivity. As defiant symbols of life and continuity, whether it be in the beginnings of it or the proverbial rising from the ashes allegory instead, as they happen to burst forth in all their blooming beauty even after the wicked weathering by the cold winter frost, these are flowers associated with the fancied dawning of spring upon an earth battered till then by the harsh ravages of the cold weather. Necessarily therefore, in being the first blooms of spring and that too in a manner so instantly diffusing of all melancholy of a long drawn winter of tiringly lifeless manifestations, daffodils occupy place of pride across the realm of all things celebratory. And most popularly associated with the springtime festival of Easter is this flower that imbibes indeed the very essence of this Christian celebration in resurrection and rebirth but buds out also from a belief deep seated in the lore and legend of the religion. Greeting the world with their grin in all good natured humour every year sometime in and around the exciting eking out of the Spring Equinox, daffodils are emblematic in this commemoration of the rebirth of Lord Jesus. In fact so integrally identified with this festival of all things hopeful that culminates as a grand celebration of the immensely spiritual Lenten period is the daffodil that has also let it to be known as the Lenten Lily, deriving though from such essence resident deep in the expanse of the legend. Supposedly blooming for the first time in the garden of Gethsemane during the Last Supper to bring comfort to Christ Himself before his crucifixion has been the exquisite importance that the daffodil has managed to chart out, making it establish itself therefore as a definite symbol of the 40 days of Lent as well as of the following celebration of Easter. And the daffodil indeed is almost exclusive to this ultimate celebration in the springing back to life of the world in general, as it blooms and dies away between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

lent-lily-wild-daffodil-botany-blooming-flora
Source: Pxfuel

Of an adherence less religious but distinguished still in the cultural essence is such prominence of the daffodil that recognises it as being ushering in of the Chinese New Year in its perceived symbolism in good fortune, prosperity and good luck. The connection though persists as specifically a spring season symbiosis, so prevalent in its notion that has earned also the celebration the alternative identity as the Spring Festival locally. It again is this romance of the springtime that manifests through the mesmerising beauty of the daffodil being an element symbolic of the Iranian new year or Nowruz that celebrates in fact the revival and rejuvenation of nature starting the first day of spring, specifically the spring equinox indeed. Even beyond its symbolic exploration in festivals and through traditions, the daffodil still is no less encompassing of many an universal ideals scouted out as eternal attributes in immense desirability. Thus hope is what wafts from the vivid visage of this flower in France while Japan seeks out joy instead from the blooms of bright benevolence. Come to think of more contemporary references rooted in the essence of the social and the daffodil today finds widespread representation in being the fundraising symbol for charitable causes concerned with the dreaded disease of cancer, specifically during designated Daffodil Days devoted to the cause. Lending themselves as well to another social exploration though still of the celebratory kind are such eminence of daffodils that make them universally popular as anniversary gifts on the completion of a decade of togetherness by couples pursuing their journey in marital bliss in as hearty measure as the joyous musings of the dancing daffodil.

But the most invariable association that these dainty delicates of sunny spirit pursue is one that is of importance for an entire nation of people. As the official flower of the country of Wales, the ‘Daffadowndilly’ as it is also amusingly- or in fact endearingly called- perhaps in reference to an A. A. Milne poem of the same name, stands out in its definite steeping in the Welsh identity despite it being not one of the most traditional symbols of this land of songs and scenery. With a history that goes back by just a couple of centuries, the daffodil’s ingrained essence within the Welsh existence might be rather recent but this frequent vision during the St. David’s Day celebration in the country commands sure all the attention. And it is in another symbolic representation of Wales that the daffodil derives its associated importance within this same expanse, dwelling as it does along the same spectrum of sight that which is evocative of the more traditional and definitely Welsh element of the leek. It in fact was the leek that once prevailed as the symbol sported indeed on their person by every Welsh people on that springtime commemoration occurring as St. David’s Day. But given how distinctly smelly leeks can be, it wasn’t to much surprise that the daffodil endowed as it is with that pleasant aroma in all things happy and gay and delightful came to space out the leek as a true blue yellow alternative instead. Take also into account the similar sounding names for both in the native language, cenhinen alluding to leek and cenhinen pedr referring to the daffodil and the curios case of the daffodil in the Welsh national context seems to be well established. Bright all yellow petals clustered together in that striking image in resplendent reach atop a long green stem, “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance” amidst the wild ‘jocund company’ as the Tenby variant, these true adherers to the springtime spirit of the St. David’s Day celebrations today find themselves being celebrated as well in no lesser profusion than what they embody within.

As interesting as their coming across in different cultures and traditions whether in antiquity or in more contemporary reiterations of those many a ‘heart with pleasure fills’, daffodils tend to be equally dramatic in their spawn of being. “A host of golden daffodils” indeed might be the norm but these immensely lovely flowers of springtime bloom also in such a motley of colors that truly incorporate the multihued assertion of this season in unparalleled resplendence. From pastels and pinks to whites and greens, of course in varying degrees of taking to the tint or splashing across the shades, these vibrant, lively, charming and joyous beauties of nature flower up indeed in such irresistible exuberance of their blossoming brilliance that leads every heart of fond springtime recollections to “dance with the daffodils”!