|Daffodils picked near my house in a Spode vase sent from England by Jane|
I had to slow down to work my way carefully through thorns that seemed, to my fancy, to have been deliberately put on guard at the periphery of the woods to get we human creatures to adopt a far more thoughtful and deliberate pace as we enter the forest.
On the note of slowing down, this year, I have been especially enjoying reading some of Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads and particularly an old favorite, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." I find this poem a balm to my soul in what has been a relentlessly busy season. I simply delight in his image of the joyful daffodils:
Continuous as the stars that shineAnd as I get older, I more and more resonate with:
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
For oft, when on my couch I lieThere's nothing like a store of happy memories:
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills,I imagine Wordsworth, or perhaps Dorothy, on a sofa on a cold day, thinking about those daffodils with no photograph or painting, just the memory, and then, feeling happy recalling them.
And dances with the daffodils.
|Daffodils in the lake District.|
Dorothy Wordsworth wrote about these same daffodils in her journal:
I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway.To me, this passage is as lovely as the poem. It's so direct, so immediate. I remember reading Dorothy's journals many years ago on a long flight somewhere, and being much taken with them.