And on the fourth day after the snow had finally gone, leaving no trace upon our land, the first daffodil of the year bloomed in bright, cheerful yellow. Even more than the drab finches turning gold or the crocus dotting the lawn this is the sight our hearts take as the proper beginning of springtime.
It was joined on the fifth day by a handful of others, more yellows and a few with white perianth. Soon the rest would bloom to color the length of the driveway.
Then on the sixth day we, like others who had been briefly gladdened by warmth and bloom, awoke to two inches of snow that had fallen in the night and the daffodils were crushed beneath the white.
The snow did not linger and is gone by now but the early daffodils, although uncovered, are still bent over. From cold snaps of springtimes past we judge that these first daffodils will continue the season staring at the ground rather than the sun but they are essentially unharmed. They will photosynthesize as well as ever and fatten up their bulbs and try again next year for as proud a display as the laggards of this year will give us.