28 May 2009

daffodils in january

Daffodils are often the first signs of spring. The shoots poke their crisp green leaves through the snow and blossom into a startlingly delicate yellow bell. They usually bloom around Easter and are also called 'lent lilies'. Throughout the centuries the daffodil gained it's fame in many different countries and cultures. The daffodil is associated with renaissances coincidentally blooming around the time of Easter which is the celebration of rebirth, and the return of spring - the season of new beginnings.

My fascination with daffodils started when I was about ten years old and first read Wordsworth's 'Daffodils'. I found it amazing that a field of yellow flowers could inspire in a man such profound thought. The first time I actually saw them was years later in Scotland. I saw them in a florist’s and I recognised them immediately. They were incredibly beautiful, with a vivid yellow colour, which is, quiet impossible to take your eyes off. I imagined how Wordsworth would have felt when he saw a whole field of them. If a bunch of them in a florist’s, 200 years since then; could make me smile – then I could imagine what profound thought it would have inspired in a poet who saw a whole field in animated action.

Now of course weather patterns are not as predictable. The Easter lilies bloom as early as January in some places. This is frightening because it implies that our seasons are changing. The blooming of daffodils three months earlier isn't the only indication of weather changes. Autumns and winters are getting shorter which has implicated for global agriculture, ripening of fruits, flowers and natural methods of pest control. These changes also interfere with animal reproduction and behaviour. People noticing these changes are not just climatologists but those whose professions are intricately connected to the land - farmers, fisherman and hunters.

This 'global wierding' of weather is not something that is restricted to certain parts of the world. Within the Indian sub-continent, the monsoon patterns are changing. Global weather change is not a linear change but an exponential change where an increase in temperature affects not just hotter heat spells but also droughts, heavier snowfall, typhoons etc - weather phenomenon is an intricate balance that is finely calibrated and small changes makes impacts that we are not immediately aware of.

Simple creations like the daffodils, seemingly have no real purpose on earth except to beautify it. In spite of being so small and insignificant, it seems to me that they realize their purpose on this earth, in ways we never could…

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