I wasn't expecting it at all, not in the least. Up until a day or two ago, these daffodil shoots, if they were even there then, were covered with snow. But something caused me to peek over there today, just an inchoate hope, and there they were. They were there despite the brutally long and cold winter, despite the recent snows, despite unseasonably cold temperatures. There they were despite it all, through it all — undaunted.
No matter how long and cold the winter, they somehow know that it's their time to loom forth, time for their brief month in the sun. It is they who are the harbingers of an imminent spring. It is they who lift the heart just by being there: by being there and by being themselves — just themselves — their simple selves. They emerge through it all, out of the cold ground, through last year's dead detritus, and into the yet wintry air. They emerge to fulfill their destinies, which is to lift sunny faces that grin into April's relentless winds.
We all go through winters of the soul: sometimes short, sometimes long. If we have planted daffodils in our hearts, they will emerge when we need their smiles most. They will loom when we least expect them because they simply know that it is their time to reward us for planting them. They will emerge, even though we have not yet been able to tidy away all of the decaying debris of our soul's winter, and, by so springing forth, they inspire us to clean up our old messes — to rake up and dispose of the old detritus.
It is a good thing to plant seeds whenever warm summer breezes caress our lives: good seeds that can sprout when our winter-shrivelled soul's need is greatest. Plant a full garden for all seasons: daffodils for spring, daisies for summer, and asters for the autumn, but first and foremost, plant daffodils. They will suddenly illumine your soul when it seems that the dark has come to stay. And perhaps you will find that when your garden blooms, it somehow also touches and lifts spirits other than your own. And that is a good thing.