Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And the Lilies of the Field

In my hometown, there is a single high hill that overlooks everything else. From that promontory, you can see the whole town and quite a ways into the county. It's higher than even the cliff on which my parents' house sits, but that's not what makes it unique.

I just heard from someone back home that the March lilies, or what other people call jonquils or daffodils, have bloomed.

Decades ago, long before I was born, someone planted daffodil bulbs all over that ridge. In my childhood, every March, it would erupt into a brilliant sea of bright yellow for a few short weeks. My first grade teacher lived there, and I envied her the fact that the March lilies were in her yard. Mom would organize all the local Girl Scout troops for a hike up the winding streets to the top of Buckner Hill, as it's known to locals. We were allowed to admire the flowers, but never to pick them, because a Girl Scout always leaves nature as she found it.

For a few years, the March lilies' growth became furtive, and nearly ceased. The once-blanketed hillside hosted only a few clumps of volunteers here and there- I'd even wondered if someone should quietly climb the hill and plant new bulbs to revive it...but they've done it on their own. Everyone has told me to come home at once, before it rains, so I can see the flowers this year.

To me they will always be innocence and joy, symbols of life before it was intruded upon by rude and cruel reality. They are true. They are pure. They are a breath of life in a tainted world.

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