first

The first daffodil I have seen this… spring?  It’s not really spring; is it?

It’s only January 27th, for goodness’ sake.  The weather forecast calls for a mix of rain and snow here two days hence, and I’m dreading going to the grocery store later for onions, potatoes, and milk, putting off facing that anxious crowd.  Although with each minute I delay, I significantly increase the chances there will be no more milk left to buy when I get there.

Meteorologists must feel very gratified to have such an effect on the population when they see the hubbub the word “snow” can cause in a small Southern town’s supermarkets.

But I’ve spent a good part of the day focused on beauty, breathing deep, face tilted to the sun, so I’m pretty sure I can withstand any number of panicked shoppers.  My soul has been recharged by a tranquil visit to the South Carolina Botanical Gardens, and it was such a pleasure I’m considering writing them a thank you note.

Who to address it to, though?  “Dear spirit of the gardens”?  “To whom it may concern”?  “To all the people who made this lightening of my heart on a January day possible?”

Actually, as for a lightening of the heart, I must also address a sincere “thank you” to Christina Martin of Soul Aperture*, who has called out to all her legion of admirers to “show January who’s boss” and do a Simple Things post today.  These posts celebrating the simple joys and beauties and pleasures of everyday life are enough to lift anyone’s spirits, and I’m particularly pleased that she called for them today.  Lately, I’ve felt in need of a lift.  Yesterday was particularly trying, so stressful and depressing that I couldn’t even find the energy to write a post to be published first thing this morning, as I usually do.

No matter, though.  Nature seemed to know I was in need of a pick-me-up and came through gloriously.  While trying to get a better shot of some sweetheart pink camellia blossoms that had fallen into a patch of pretty green weeds, I ended up sitting on my butt in the pinestraw, and finally lying on my stomach there in the dappled sun.

When I’d gotten the shot I wanted, I stared down the hillside to the pond below.  Gentle winds were ruffling the surface of the waters, making them sparkle.  The mellow noonday sunshine was caressing my right cheek and the top of my head, like a benediction.  Birds were singing nearby, and the music of a full-bellied creek could be heard faintly in the distance.   Each breath came so slowly, and the air smelled clear and just a little sweet.

I realized, without words, that I was happy.  My worries had melted away under a sweep of blue, blue sky, with my body hugging the earth.  A smile spread across my face and didn’t want to leave me, lingering at least a couple of hours.  (It just returned, rather impishly, as I typed that sentence.)

These are my simple things today:  sunlight, blue sky, birdsong, fallen petals and a persistent smile; moving water, fresh breezes, the season’s first daffodil, and a connection with it all; eyes that can see, ears that can hear, warmth on my cheek, love in my heart.

I wish you all joy today, wherever you are.

* And if you leave a comment on Christina’s blog today, she and her family will donate a dollar to Doctors Without Borders. Another good reason to stop by — and check out a few of the blog posts about Simple Things while you’re there.

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24 Responses to “first”

  1. Ah, the 1st daffodil of spring … what a joy!

  2. what a welcome sight…this daffodil is beautiful!.

    stopping by from Christina’s blog.

    one love.

  3. your photo has that same ‘lighteting of the heart’ quality that you speak of – oh I could use a quick nap in the sun, myself!

  4. Delightful…experiencing nature, doing something you love and realizing how something as simple as being in the sun, focusing on a photograph can bring you so much pleasure!

  5. I think that there is something so special about flowers and how they can instantly lift your mood. What perfect timing for your first Daffodil to bloom, earlier then normal, just because you needed to see it :^)

    • I do hope that’s why it bloomed, Noelle. (Truthfully, I suspect climate change is confusing the bulbs a bit.)

      And I agree with you that flowers are imbued with a kind of magical mood-lifting quality. 🙂 Lucky you, to have them year-round in Arizona.

  6. looks like you allowed yourself to be open to the beauty in today. Glad your spirits are lifted.

  7. I’m glad you’re smiling and I’m glad you got to commune with nature today. I’m incredibly jealous that you saw a daffodil, but I’ll remind myself that ours will be blooming in a few months. 🙂

    • Oh, Talon. I hate it that you’re stuck with winter so much longer. 😦

      However, think of this season as a kind of purgatory for us now. If it gets warm enough for too many days in succession, the dogwoods and flowering fruit trees blossom too early and then get blasted by a late freeze, ruining what should be a slowly unfolding blossom, Spring herself, just as we begin to glimpse her beauty. This happens more and more frequently the last decade, as climate change screws with the pattern. So I’m almost wishing for cold again, weird as that sounds. I guess it’s like eating one’s vegetables…

  8. oooo i love daffodils. they are planted around my apartment complex. alas, these chicago winters are long and i don’t think we will see them for quite some time. the low tonight is 1–yes–1 degree.

  9. aren’t daffodils great, it really is a mood lifter to see the first one, so you can start putting the nasty winter behind you.

  10. It was a beautiful day here, too. No daffodils in sight yet, but I am encouraged by this photo of yours.

    • This one seemed extremely eager to get started, Lynn. It was growing in a quite sun-drenched spot in the xeriscaped garden there… and none of the others in evidence had even put up buds yet.

  11. I know what you mean about wanting to write ‘Thank You’ notes to those in charge of caring for the glorious botanical gardens strewn across the world… or just to nature herself! It is a delightful image of you upon the ground “hugging the earth” inhaling and eyeing her creations from that perspective. I love the result in your daffodil photo! All the “simple” things of life … birds, flower petals, blue sky and sunlight … a few that you mention in your lovely narrative … seem at times like rare treasures. Especially to some in dire conditions. All the more reason we who have them readily should be aware and engage our senses … joy too … our lives could be so different… and it would not be just the weather that might worry us. Here is to honoring the many “simple” blessings in our lives. To realizations … awareness in our moments… “I realized, without words, that I was happy.” May we embrace them all. As always … I leave your delicious posts with a smile. ;>))

    • They are rare treasures, I think, in winter… and sometimes no matter what the season, in a hectic, modern life. But how fortunate I am to be able to dwell on such mundane details as the weather, a view of the pond, a walk under the trees in dappled sunlight! You are so right, Carol. Even to have this day, this moment, is a blessing.

      And you write so poignantly, even in the comments. 🙂

  12. I found my way here via Christina. I love how many of us are roaming the blogroads stopping to say hello here and there. So, hello to you. Happy almost-Friday.

    • I’m glad you stopped by, Relyn. I’ll definitely come by and visit you this week. Christina’s Simple Things has turned out to be such an inspiration, bringing so many of us together. 🙂

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