Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daffodil Bulbs Are Ugly Things

Have you ever noticed how ugly daffodil bulbs are? I planted about thirty yesterday. Every single one looked dried out and ready for the trash can. Even the root system looked like something I'd sweep into a dustpan. It's hard to believe that I will have any green shoots in the spring. It's even harder to believe that those green shoots will reach up to touch the sunlight of those first warm days of spring and unfold into little yellow cups and saucers.

There are days when I feel more like a daffodil bulb than a daffodil flower. There are days when my best efforts look like something God might sweep up with a broom and dustpan and toss in the trash.

But God is the ultimate gardener. He sees the potential in every life. He knows that, down deep inside, there is a flower just waiting to emerge. He knows that the attention He gives us now - on a cool November afternoon when the hours of daylight are dwindling - that attention will yield something beautiful when the Light of the Son touches us.

I'm ready to be a daffodil. I'm ready to break out of the bulb. I'm tired of being dormant. Of waiting.

But I am not in charge of timing. That's God's business. I am only called to submit to the Gardener's hands, to accept the soil that covers me and teaches me a lesson in humility and patience, and then to awaken with the first rays of springtime.

In that moment, it will be difficult to remember the cold of November, the bleak days of December, the relentless snows of January, and the lingering remnants of February's winter.

Then, God willing, I will flower.

All the potential that He has placed within me will be actualized. And my greatest hope, my deepest longing, that thing that drives me some days and quiets me other days, that one thing I long to do . . . to cause someone to pause as Wordsworth did and acknowledge the Creator through the simple gift of the created . . . that will happen! I leave you with Wordsworth's poem, one of my favorites.

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.
Continuous as the stars that shine
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.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
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,
And dances with the daffodils.


  1. What a lovely blog and poem. Thank you. I've added you to my blog list and hope to visit often. God bless ~ susie

  2. How do you blog? I'm not even sure I know what they are and I don't seem to be able to control the content created on my blog by posters

  3. I just watched Women of Grace on EWTN and must say that I am so inspired by your conversion story! I came into the Catholic church myself three years ago at a time when I needed it most (although unbeknown to me at the time). The analogy of the daffodil bulbs is so very fitting. I just hope I turn out as beautiful when I "bloom."

  4. Dear ghostwriter,

    I went to your blogs to see if there was an email contact and couldn't find one. So, I'll post a response to your question here. You have blogspot, I see, so go to Dashboard. Find SETTINGS and click on that. Then click on COMMENTS and read the left column until you find "Comment Moderation". Click on the circle that says "always". This will permit you to screen all of your comments and choose to publish them or delete them. You will receive emails when someone tries to comment and you will be able to read them and choose to publish or delete.

    ALSO, you can go in and delete any comments that published before now, ones you feel you want to get rid of. Do not go into SETTINGS. This time, go to DASHBOARD and click on COMMENTS rather than SETTINGS (I know, this is confusing because there is also a Comments under SETTINGS which you go to for setting your comment moderations. But this time, you want to edit out some comments so you go to COMMENTS and not SETTINGS when you are at the Dashboard page. You will see all of the comments that have been published already and have an opportunity to delete any after the fact.

    Take a deep breath. I know that's a lot to sort through, but it gets easier the more you do it. And don't be afraid to click around on those SETTINGS and DESIGN and COMMENTS pages you find when you are on the DASHBOARD page. Explore a bit. May God give you the courage to jump in and share the Good News of the Gospel in the blogosphere!