Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Yellow You Can See the Farthest

Watercolor painting by Joyce Dutka

David Fried

Today the sky is the bluest blue after a bit of spring cool rain. I can lie on my back and get lost in this blue. Maybe this is why when a friend is a real friend, they are called “true blue.” The same sky that gives us rain and rainbows, snow, and sunny days nourishes our beings with warmth on spring days. I stopped to watch five little white crocuses with orange throats looking up at me in the new grass that has just been uncovered as the snow eases back across the lawn. Their life is so simple. All winter they are dreaming of spring. Now that spring is here, they smile, dance and look so pretty, while they are so natural looking. They do not have to pretend to be anything they are not. All eyes are on them now, and they are shining their light into the world.

Maybe this is our best chance of success, too. Whether we are planting a garden or volunteering at a school, we get to shine our light wherever we are. Saying hello to a deer or a little dog, we are acknowledging their existence and turning something on in them where they are just a little more alive than they were a minute ago. The seeds we plant in our garden beds sprout and grow and become food for us and for wildlife. The graceful acts of kindness we seed about will continue to spread far and wide. This is the least we can do, and also the most we can do sometimes. When the world looks like a rough place, we can smooth it out with our acts of gentleness.

My mother was an artist for as long as I can remember. We have her sculptures and photos and watercolor paintings all over our house. Today I was looking in one of her sketchbooks for inspiration, and I saw this penciled into the margin of a drawing, ” Yellow you can see the furthest.” All of a sudden, I was remembering all things yellow in the fields and the gardens: how the honey bees seem to appear out of nowhere and now cover every shining yellow dandelion from here to Timbuktu. When I was nineteen, I hitchhiked to a river in the country of Mali in West Africa. Standing on the banks of the river I was told if I went to the left, I would see many dugout boats and maybe hippopotamuses. If I went to the right, I would eventually come to Timbuktu. (I went to the left.)

Giving a tour of our farm and food forest a few days ago, I pointed out that all the trees in the orchard had been nicely fertilized all winter by deer droppings. Not much work on our part! Of course, we cannot grow tulips here or many other flowering bulbs. It seems that deer surely enjoy them like we two legged ones like onions. But there is at least one bulb that the deer stay away from: the daffodil.

The daffodils are seen from far across the hill and at first, I think the sun is rising in a new place.

Glorious yellow blossoms under the trees, under the fence, under everything! When I get closer, I remember there are daffodils here. Each year there are more. There is music in the air, moisture in the air and yellow majesty all around us when the daffodils are here.

I wonder if the deer have different tastes than we do. Why do they love eating tulips but not these? Maybe the wise deer council of the deep forest one day decided that they would leave us two-legged ones something to be cheerful about. Maybe they need the “sunlight on the hill” as much as we do. You sure can see these flowers from far off, and I see them all over the place now. It is like driving along a large field just before sunset in Vermont, and you know if you look for a moment deep into the field, you will see some deer out there. What are they doing? Probably they are looking at the daffodils and getting lost in the brightest of yellow suns while under the bluest of blue skies. The kind that you only get in the north country.

David Fried is a poet and garden writer who also grows trees at Elmore Roots Nursery in northern Vermont.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>