a few years ago, i wrote this piece on empty buildings. on a long drive this afternoon, i thought about places that have been empty so long that they crumbled in on themselves and are gone. all that’s left is a meandering cairn that used to be a stone wall or the stony bowels of a cellar hole. always, though, there are flowers.
driving along an old gravel road in spring, through a lonely stretch shaded dark with tall trees, there is a cluster of yellow daffodils. a lanky lilac with parsimonious purple flowers. a peregrinating line of pink phlox. they hold on long after the people who planted them are gone, long after the home they adorned has turned to dust. the seeds, the bulbs, the roots were dearly purchased to liven up the front of a small hill farm. little did the hands that put them gently into the ground imagine that generations and generations later, they would yet bloom.
what an emblem of hope. sadness, yes, but daffodils will keep daffodilling long after i’m gone.
as i dig in the dirt, planting, weeding, pruning, nurturing, and loving, i may just be leaving a legacy. when i worry about the very small ripples i leave on the very long ocean of time, i will hope that in a hundred years, some yellow daffodils will mark where i once stood.