I thought I'd take a few minutes out of the daily grind to write about something beautiful. Spring has started to arrive here in Victoria and I couldn't resist going out and taking some pictures of the crocuses and daffodils outside of our apartment. While crocuses like this one are the first sign that spring has arrived for most people, to me it is the simple daffodil which shouts sunshine, joy and hope. Not only are daffodils one of the first flowers to bloom in spring here in Victoria, but they have been present in so many 'firsts' of my life.
My first encounter with daffodils was on my first job in Winnipeg. Winnpeg is a few miles off of the longitudinal centre of Canada. Basically this means you're a couple thousand miles from oceans - the Pacific and the Atlantic. Because it is in the southern portion of the province, it also happens to be about that far to the Arctic Ocean, too. That translates to extreme temperatures - intensely hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter. And winter lasts longer than spring and summer combined.
The social committee at my work was promoting a fundraiser for Cancer Research, an organization that uses the daffodil as their symbol. I donated some money to purchase daffodils and weeks later they arrived. Here it was, the middle of winter, snow had been on the ground for months, the temperatures were in the deep freeze and I had these bright yellow flowers on my desk. They gave me such joy and hope for the future. It makes sense to me why daffodils are the symbol for that particular charity. My second encounter with daffodils was during my first visit to Victoria to see Beth and check out whether I wanted to live here. I believe it was late March or early April and daffodils were everywhere. On the journey from the ferry terminal in Sidney to Victoria, I saw fields cultivated with daffodils. This was a foreign concept to me, prairie girl that I am. Fields were for hay, for corn, wheat and other grains. But flowers? Amazing.
In Beacon Hill park, a few blocks away from where I was staying and where we currently live, the hillside was covered in daffodils. Most yards had daffodils blooming too. All these beautiful sunny flowers. It was a huge selling point for me to move to Victoria. Beth was number one, but I think the presence of daffodils and the lack of mosquitos were tied for second place!
The first time my mom came to visit me in Victoria was also in spring and I took her to see the hillside of daffodils and from that visit forward my mom thinks of me whenever she sees a daffodil. It's a special connection, I think.
That connection was also reinforced when I announced that Beth and I were moving to Wales so that Beth could pursue her PhD. For those who don't know, daffodils are the nation's flower. And on St. David's Day on March 1st, the girls traditionally wear daffodils. (The guys must have drawn the short straw because they wear leeks.) Daffodils were plentiful in Cardiff where I lived. They reminded me of Victoria and my mom out in the prairies. And there was that cheerfulness about them that always brought a smile to my face.
When we decided to move back to Canada there was one thing which I wanted to take back with me. I had always lusted over the carved Welsh Lovespoons. A few days before we left, Beth took me to one of the Welsh Lovespoon shops and I picked out the perfect spoon.Here in Victoria, it is daffodil season again. I feel so fortunate that I can buy two bunches of daffodils for the price of a cup of coffee and bring sunshine into our apartment. Daffodils remind me that there has been difficult times before, but despite any adversity (weather, moving across continents, illness or finances) there is always something to look forward to.