And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
From “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth
What do daffodils represent to you?
Dancing daffodils herald spring, arriving during the month of the spring equinox, Lent, and sometimes Easter. These bright yellow flowers are called Lent Lilies in England and Easter Bells, or Oesterglocken, in Germany. They are an obvious symbol for rebirth and new beginnings.
The symbolism relates to resurrection on two levels for me.
First, the American Cancer Society views the daffodil as a symbol of hope for a cancer cure. How fitting, when I just received a clear x-ray 4.5 years out from treatment.
Second, the daffodil is sometimes called the Narcissus. Narcissus is rooted in the Greek word narke, which means numbness or torpor, because the bulbs contain a paralyzing and toxic alkaloid. The bulbs were allegedly carried by Roman soldiers so if they became mortally wounded, they could eat the bulbs to ease the pain as they perished.
Narke also is the foundation for the word “narcotic.” My son passed from a narcotic overdose.
Because of these associations, my friend Karen wanted me to have daffodils in Tristan’s memorial garden. This week they danced into bloom, their sunny dispositions cheering up the yard and filling my heart with pleasure.
Thriver Soup Ingredient:
Here is a little ritual you can do with a daffodil to assist with healing from grief (modified from the book The Magic of Flowers by Tess Whitehurst). On a sunny day, fill a pretty glass with fresh water and carry it to a Narcissus. Hold the container while sitting with the flower, gazing into its golden depths. Take some slow, deep breaths. Imagine light from the sun filling the water with healing energy. Then drink a little of the water to absorb the energy of the sun. Pour the rest of the water around the base of the flower. As you offer life-giving moisture to the daffodil, ask the blossom to share its gift of presence with you by strengthening your ability to be more fully present during each day, letting go of some of your grief.
Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Flowers Llewellyn Publications, 2013, p. 259.