Someone brought a bunch of daffodils in to the course I teach on today, and they touched my heart. Daffodils are favourite flowers of mine: they were our school flower, because the school's birthday fell at daffodil time and we were encouraged to bring in bunches from our gardens to decorate our classrooms. Several years ago, when I was going through a rather dark time (and it happened to be the depth of winter), I had a dream about masses of daffodils flowering in the cold and darkness - it proved to be a turning point, as hope began to return.
When I was taking the picture I found I was trying to avoid that piece of paper on the notice board where you might just be able to see the words Stretch and Panic. It's a reminder of our hope that on the course we'll all find courage to move out of our Comfort Zone (that's the bit in the middle that you perhaps can't read) and into our Stretch Zone - while not venturing too far or too often into our Panic Zone. I find that challenging! But maybe that's part of the message of daffodils pushing their way through the snow.
I'm reminded too of Sydney Carter's song about Julian of Norwich:
Love like a yellow daffodil is coming through the snow;
Love like a yellow daffodil is Lord of all I know.
Ring out, bells of Norwich, and let the winter come and go -
All shall be well again, I know.
I managed to find a version of the song on YouTube although, if these musicians will forgive me, I still think the best version is the one on the album of Carter's songs called Lovely In The Dances. And I think the daffodils moved me so much today because they connect with my word for this year...