Posted tagged ‘Easter’

The Power of Daffodils

March 30, 2013

I consider daffodils to be a cosmopolitan flower. They are cultivated in many countries at this time of year to be sold for spring celebrations.

The power of daffodils is the same over here as it is in Poland, Bulgaria, or Sweden. It lies in the power of the contradiction between their energy and their vulnerability. Their yellow represents great energy and optimism. At the same time these delicate plants are greatly dependent on an abundant supply of water for their survival. They definitely are not suitable for my Tucson garden!

Yellow daffodils on a dark background

Daffodils are beautiful when in masses – as in an open field. They are as beautiful in cut form, but their lives then are much, much shorter.

The daffodils of this spring have had a strong touch of sadness and drama for me. I brought them to my dear friend, Susan, in the last hours of her intense and brave battle with cancer. I shared them with good friends to honor both Susan’s departure and this Easter Holiday’s arrival.

I am now looking at the daffodils standing royally in a vase in the center of the table at my home. They look strong and happy, while I feel deflated and sad. Never before had their yellow reminded me of other yellows: the massive gold of forsythia blooms next to my house on the Cape – the plant that I have always considered the birthday plant for my older son who now is totally estranged from me…. The yellow of the lower row of the daffodils’ petals reminds me of the gentle yellow of the roses associated with two friends who are no longer among us. Finally the strong yellow of the daffodils’ blooms brings to my mind the bloom of the mesquite tree that I loved and lost several years ago. Losses, losses, losses – all in a yellow hue….

Is that yellow melancholy going to take over my heart for the entire Easter weekend? I wondered. So I examined again carefully the daffodils in the vase. And here was the surprise – their tender green stems and ruffled yellow trumpets were not affected by my dark mood at all! Yet, their irresistible yellow energy slowly replaced my darkness. That is the power of flowers!



Many poems were written about daffodils and their youthful dancing energy. Here you can listen to the poem of William Wordsworth:

Have a good Easter weekend and a MULTICOLORED Spring!


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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

In Spirit of Spring

April 20, 2011

My last post was about plants that can kill — nuclear power plants. This one is a few words about real plants and the great power for rebirth in nature. It is a perfect time for that, especially since on April 22 we are celebrating Earth Day.

Earth Day was established 41 years ago (in 1970) as a day dedicated to educating people about the importance of understanding and protecting our environment, and to celebrate our planet.


Apparently the idea of Earth Day has caught the emotions of many, and today more than 100 different countries celebrate Earth Day. The idea was originated by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in the 1960s and evolved over several years. You may wish to read “How the First Earth Day Come About” written by Senator Nelson himself.

Thinking about Earth Day and being familiar with Native American culture, I wonder if the concept of an Earth Day does not feel a bit strange from their perspective — after all for them every day was (and is) an Earth day. Their culture is rooted in connection to and respect for Mother Nature.

The vitality of the earth is pronounced this spring in our yard more strongly than in past years. Many plants of southern Arizona suffered great damage this winter which was unusually harsh — I do not remember such a cold winter since I moved here, and that was 11 years ago already! Oh, of course it was a very mild one in comparison to other places in this country, but for the plants not accustomed to such low temperatures, the freezing cold was deadly. So I was watching our yard anxiously, looking for signs of life in each plant. Some of them just did not make it, some are badly hurt, and some survived remarkably well.

prickly pear with new spring growth oleander with new spring growth
Mesquite tree
Fresh growth: prickly pear, oleander, mesquite tree

Seeing new growth is very exciting and calls for celebration. So this Friday, which is Earth Day, planting some new plants and trimming the old ones would seem an appropriate tribute that could even extend to the weekend.

It just happens, however, that this year April 22 is also a Good Friday, followed by Easter Sunday. These days are very important and celebrated by many in traditional ways, as in my native Poland for instance.

Coming from Polish culture I have kept some of its Easter traditions, like coloring Easter eggs and inviting family and friends for an Easter brunch. Not being a religious person, I see that holiday as a celebration of spring and new life.  So when I was introduced in this country to the concept of the Easter Bunny and to the fun of an Easter egg hunt, I embraced both with pleasure. I was nicely surprised to learn that the Easter Bunny was not an invention of American marketing, but was introduced to the States by German settlers in the 18th century.

The Easter egg (according to Wikipedia) is “a pagan symbol of the rebirth of the Earth in celebration of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.” Most cultures accepted the symbol of an egg as a start of new life. In springtime, birds are nesting and laying eggs, and rabbits and hares are prolific. Therefore, it is not surprising that eggs, chicks, and rabbits are common symbols of spring.

This year with Easter in late April we can all, religious and non-religious people, celebrate Earth Day and Easter at the same time and in a variety of ways. I see this as a very attractive, peaceful, and unifying time for all.

Alicja Mann's Easter Egg collection blue pot of flowers

Happy Earth Day, Happy Easter weekend, Happy Spring!

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Photo of Earth from the sumeRemus blog, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 France License. Text and other photos copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann.

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