On a cold February day, when freezing rain and sleet pelted us, on and off, what could be better than thinking of spring? Especially, since I noticed that my jonquils are poking out of the ground, not discouraged by the frigid weather, like me. It won't be long before they look like the ones in the picture I took of them in the past.
Jonquils bring joy to mind.
“Delight yourself in the Lord,
And he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37
It's pure joy seeing them open their dainty clusters of golden blossoms, after their green shoots had been above ground for some time. And when they're finally blooming, can spring be far behind?
When I see the jonquils, I’m immediately reminded of Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Those daffodils in Wordsworth’s poem, fluttering and dancing in the breeze are expressing joy! And although he called them daffodils, they were probably jonquils. Well, perhaps they were daffodils. But what's in a name?
Are jonquils daffodils? Or are daffodils a different flower? Well, both jonquils and daffodils are members of the Narcissus family. But the true jonquils (Narcissus jonquilla) have round, rush-like leaves and small, fragrant early blooming clusters of yellow blossoms. Daffodils, on the other hand, have large, normally yellow, single trumpet flowers. All jonquils are daffodils, but not all daffodils are jonquils!
Jonquils are the most fragrant of the Narcissus species. The cultivation of jonquils goes far back. Roman soldiers introduced the plant into England during the early years of the Christian era, while the Colonists introduced both the multiple-flowered jonquils and the single flowered daffodils to America. But Narcissus grows wild in southwestern Europe from Spain and Portugal up to France and Great Britain, over to Switzerland and Austria, and back down to Greece and Italy. And they are easy to grow. You just stick the bulbs in the ground, and they will come up in late winter, year after year after year. They seem to go on forever.
There is nothing more cheerful than the arrival of the early jonquils, growing like wildflowers, perfectly happy amidst the grass and weeds, or in the woods, bringing joy to the beholder who is lucky enough to see them dancing in the breeze! And if we think spring, we can see them dancing right now.
Jonquils inspire joy!
Ann (Ancient One) has a beautiful picture of some daffodils in her neighborhood that you might all enjoy seeing, to get into a joyful, spring mood.