As it happens I’ve never really written about a flower before (admittedly, apart from that metaphoric ditty I wrote about my first crush, Poppy, back in Year 6). But here I am getting mildly botanical, because over the last few weeks I’ve been particularly enthralled by Spring’s darling, the daffodil. Let me tell you why…
In the UK at least, the seasons of the year offer a vivid in-built illustration of new life from death and barrenness. As winter gives way to Spring, it’s hard not to see through these times of change to eternal realities. Martin Luther basically said as much:
Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
And surely there is no better example of this than the splendour of the daffodil. There it is, popping up in your garden or lining your local verge, all in various shades of sunburst.
Just as the apostle wrote about the ‘last trumpet’ sounding when Jesus returns, signalling the day of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-53), I reckon daffodils in springtime are like little resurrection trumpeters, vibrant and alert, declaring their good news to our dulled and distracted hearts.
In fact, A. A. Milne has a line in one of his Winnie the Pooh books where he describes the daffodil as being a herald of life:
She turned to the sunlight, and shook her yellow head. And whispered to her neighbour: “Winter is dead.
Of course in this Easter time we have a seasonal opportunity to discover what the Christian seeks to recall daily: to look back to an empty cross and an empty grave and fix our hearts on these guarantees of God’s love, forgiveness and resurrection future.
But every sown seed that goes into the ground and ‘dies’, before being raised in the ‘glory’ of a flower, is also an enacted reminder that the new-life story is our story (1 Corinthians 15:35-44).
And yet the daffodil is not just a picture of transformation; she is a watchman who also raises her instrument and calls us to behold the new reality that has burst through the horizon in Jesus’ resurrection.
So as we approach Easter, I draw your attention to this little resurrection trumpet. Next time your eyes catch her joyful radiance, faithfully standing tall amidst this season of birdsong and April showers, why not take a moment to imagine her victory blast and remember what’s coming.