Everywhere one looks in England the golden daffodils are dancing in the breeze.
Flying into England last week, and sitting in the window seat of the plane, I was astonished to see a splash of yellow on the green landscape below that could only be a vast swath of brilliant daffodils.
I was last in England in time to see the daffodils a decade ago. In my blog, I quoted the poem by William Wordsworth:
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.
In the little cottage we call home in South Yorkshire, spring has come earlier than some southern counties. The hedgerows are still brown with winter’s sleep, but filled with snowdrifts of creamy white hawthorn, blooming exuberantly across the countryside a month early. Along the grassy verges around the village, daffodils in the thousands provide a welcome burst of colour. A farmer has planted them a mile either side of his house about halfway to the next hamlet. Later, his glorious wood will be carpeted with brilliant bluebells, my secret spot, as I wrote a half dozen years ago. Apparently, they only grow where the land has never been cultivated – so very, very old woodlands.
Along the lanes, in gardens and churchyards around us for a brief few weeks we marvel at England’s joyous salute to spring. Not until the scarlet poppies arrive in summer will the wildness of these forgotten corners of the land be noticed again.
A few years ago, many dozen bulbs were planted in the garden, but we have never been in residence to enjoy their glory. Now we are here at exactly the right time to view their bounty. In addition, the gardener has spruced up the flower boxes with miniature daffs, nodding their delicate heads in agreement with their larger cousins as a warm breeze wafts around them. In local shops, bunches of fresh daffs can be bought for two pounds. I fill the house with them.
Soon we are driving south to see friends and relatives. We will marvel at how spring arrives in different ways and at different times. But I will never forget the glory of these narrow Yorkshire lanes.
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