Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tempus Vernum (Spring Time)

daffodils in our front yard

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.

- an excerpt from I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
By William Wordsworth

We are now officially in spring!!! The day started out fine: it’s still nearly zero degree Celsius this morning (the ground was covered in frost) but it was SUNNY :). Yesterday, the weather was so erratic--- the sky was bright one moment, then, covered the next. There were even short episodes of snow. But the snowflakes melted upon reaching the ground (so no chance of some last-minute snowball fight).

I’m really looking forward to spring (but of course, even more to summer). Well, for one thing, I wouldn’t have to put several layers of clothing just to keep myself warm. Second, I can start weeding and planting (good luck to all those plants and seeds. I hope they are tenacious and sturdy enough to withstand me and my hands *winks*). And we can go for short walks even just within our area. I don’t really need to go somewhere grand and renowned or to remote and uncharted places (although I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if it presents itself. That’s for certain :)). All I need is a good dose of sunlight and good company. The only glitch is I’m now starting to sneeze which will last until the end of summer (yep, curse this pollen-sensitive nose!). Oh well, you can’t have it all :).

And to celebrate the coming of spring, here are some photos of daffodils (genus narcissus, also known as jonquil or buttercup. (And speaking of buttercup, my mind suddenly played the song: “ why do you build me up, buttercup baby just to let me down…”). I think this yellow spring bloom is aptly named – narcissus. You cannot put daffodils in the same vase with other flowers. They secrete a substance that wilts the rest of the bouquet. I guess they really don’t like competition :)).

Like hyacinths, there’s a legend about the flower having sprung from where Narcissus died. There are several versions of this folklore but the constant element is that Narcissus is a vain youth who became so infatuated with his reflection on a pool of water. He was so obsessed with this image that he died:
1. of thirst --- he would ruin the reflection if he drinks from the pond.
2. of starvation--- he wouldn’t and couldn’t stop staring at his image that he wasted away.
3. of drowning --- he reached out to touch or kiss his likeness, fell into the water and drowned.

Whatever is his manner of dying,the bottom line is that he died on account of his self-absorption. We know that vanity goes beyond the physical level. That’s why we talk of egoists, swellheaded, megalomaniac people. Certainly, as human beings, we all have our own share of conceit. But sometimes we become too engrossed with our own importance that we forget we might be a big fish in a small pond, but we are probably imperceptible in an ocean.

I think it’s only prudent to keep in mind that reflection we see in the mirror is merely that--- a reflection, a two-dimensional representation. And we owe it to ourselves to avoid getting trapped in this mirror-image, particularly a misconceived one. The eyes can play tricks on us, especially our own eyes. We are susceptible to see what we only want to see. And the risk is that we might meet the fate of Narcissus: lured into a false security of our greatness, trapped by our delusion of grandeur, hence, we refuse to leave our stance purely for the sake of preserving our image --- a false, misshapen one at that We begin to lead a life of self-deception and end up wretched and alone.

Anyway, enough of this misgivings. I’m supposed to talk about spring and the cheerfulness it brings. Excuse my wandering thoughts. Sometimes, one topic just leads to another… and I couldn’t help not expounding a little bit on it. In any case, it’s a real treat that spring has arrived. I hope today is the start of cloudless, warm days :)).


Katarina i Kullavik said...

That's a nice legend behind the pretty flowers of the hyacinths. Springtime is the best season of the year - isn't it! it makes your spirits rise.
Happy Easter! /Katarina

Anonymous said...

WOW! I loved this post. I'm hoping that plants are strong enough :p These daffodils are just beautiful. I don't usually like yellow, but I like these. Well, I don't usually like flowers in general (it's like they are kinda ephemeral :s Dunno :S) And I'd completely agree with you when you say we shouldn't get absorbed much in ourselves. Narcissus was a fool, we all know that. We just shouldn't do the same thing as he did :)

lareine said...

hello katarina: thanks for dropping by... yep, spring definitely gives my dwindling morale a good push... i'm just wondering though why we seem to be having some last-minute snow... anyway, you too enjoy the easter holidays :)

lareine said...

hi nussaibah! i totally agree with you --- good luck to those plants *giggles*. i'm glad you like these daffodils...and thanks for reading my rather looong post and sharing your thoughts... it feels good to know i make sense in my entries after all *winks*... you enjoy the weekend :)

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