After church on Sunday, I bought myself some daffodils and brought a second bunch to the Milk Guy for St. David's Day. It was snowing, and getting ready to snow a whole lot more, and neither of us was happy about it. We don't like winter. I used to like it as a child when there were such things as snow days and I wasn't the one shoveling the snowdrifts, instead burrowing snow-forts into them and making snow-centaurs with my brother. But now it's shoveling at 4.30 in the morning for me, and getting achy and being cold all the time, and frankly, I hate it. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure the Milk Guy has never liked winter in his life. So I decided to snub my nose at winter and bring us each some spring.
While the Milk Guy was putting the daffodils into a vase, I mentioned that daffodils are my favourite flower. (I'm pretty sure that this is because, though my offering him daffodils was truly pure-hearted, I'm not, exactly, and I probably wanted him to take note of this for future reference.)
"Why?" he asked.
I wanted to say, "Because they're yellow," but that doesn't actually make sense, since yellow is not my favourite colour and I feel that it requires certain specific contexts (like daffodils) to be acceptable. In this case, daffodils are what make me like yellow, rather than the other way round.
So I had to stop and think about it. "Probably because of the Welsh connexion," I said. "But also because they're so . . . joyful-looking. Because they bloom in defiance of winter."
He chuckled. "That sounds like something I would say."
Which might have been why I said it like that, but I think it's true. I love crocuses for the same reason, but not as much as daffodils. Crocuses are the brave little scouts that sneak up through the snow and surprise us with dots of colour. But daffodils are the heralds of the new order. They trumpet the news that spring is coming, that winter is dying, that summer will follow and fulfillment of the year's promises. At this time of year, buried under the snow, it's inspiring enough that they shine sunshine into winter's cold face.