The daffodils were my dad’s favorite. A field of daffodils stretches out behind the cabin where I grew up. I spent my childhood among those yellow blossoms building fairy homes from cedar stumps my dad collected on our walks in the woods. After my dad’s death, the neighborhood planted daffodils in his honor along the edge to the forest by the community pond with a sign made from cedar that reads: Scott’s pond, good neighbor and woodsman.
Outside Townsend Bertram & Company flowers blossom from bulbs my dad planted underneath the Post Oak he lit each winter in miles of magical lights. He tended to those gardens for 30 years since the store’s opening in September of 1988. My dad always had time to tell a passerby the names of plants. His exuberance for life pollinated the community. Plants and people blossomed in his light.
As April unfolds, I remind myself to take in the moment, to laugh, to connect, to see the blossoming happening all around and within me. In winter how easy it is to lose one’s sense of growth and to fear the light will never return. And then one day the light lingers into evening and the daffodils delight my hazel eyes and the smell of wet earth fills the air after April showers. Once again spring turns North Carolina into a fairy home like wonderland of my childhood where anything is possible. I return to that childlike sense of wonder at the world’s ability to bloom without the man who taught me the name of every blossom.
Though we miss my dad every day, spring reminds me that all those we love come back to us through nature, nourishing the earth to bring beauty to our world. Spring is a time to pause and take in the new beginnings all around. Spring is a time to ask what you want to invite into your life. Spring is a time to slow down and watch the season turn from bud to bloom.
This spring I want to invite in patience and remember that in order for there to be true growth, the seed must crack. I want to invite in more compassion for myself and others. I intend to slow down and see the world as my dad once did, with appreciation for all experiences and creatures great and small. In our culture of accomplishment and striving, it can be difficult to remember that true growth takes time and many stages.
It has been 9 months since my dad died and it is often hard to recognize that I am growing through the overwhelming grief. I often feel more broken than in bloom. My sister gave me a card today with a collage of flowers. In her elegant, cursive reminiscent of my father’s scroll she wrote:
Maybe you too feel overwhelmed by life, cracking at your seems. May this quote and reflection of spring be a reminder to slow down and take in the new season in true Scott B fashion. Remember that we are all in a forever state of growth and tend to yourself as my dad tended to the shop gardens: with patience, attention and love.