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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daffodil Shoots and Hope

Saturday, my husband uncovered a large bag of daffodil bulbs which we had dug out of the yard last fall when we suspected one of our puppies was eating them. The bulbs had been growing shoots despite the lack of soil, water, and only fleeting glimpses of sunlight. The bulbs at the top of the bag who had gotten some sunlight were green, but the ones at the bottom were sallow yellow and spindly because they had not received any sun at all (this reaction is called etiolation by botanists). They had grown in all sorts of crazy directions to try and get to the life-giving sun, and the bulbs themselves were shriveled and weak, showing that they had been using up all their reserves to try and survive.

So, I separated them and potted as many as I had soil and pots for, and watered them and placed them on the front porch. My husband came across a colony of worms in the muck he was cleaning out of the gutter which we placed in their pots, along with a layer of decaying leaves and compost. Then, having done everything I knew to do for them, I left them alone.

Sunday, they looked much the same, limp and yellow, and I wondered if they would even flower this year or whether there had been too much darkness and not enough nurturing for them to survive.

But Monday, a miracle began to happen. I came home on my lunch break, and noticed that all of the shoots were now green, or at least green-tinged. They were standing straighter and moving toward the direction of the sun in a heartened display of phototropism.

By this morning, all of the shoots were almost completely green, and quite purposeful in their angle toward the sunlight. I thought back to their long sojourn in the darkness, putting all their energy and resources toward the day when the light of the sun would once again give them nourishment. Bulbs are built to hope, because they themselves rarely see the sun, but they send up their shoots to find it. They used all their resources and all their strength to find the sun so they could be renewed and reinvigorated, and continue on.

What an awesome analogy for hope, that in our darkest hour, we look for the SON and plan expectantly for His presence, using the resources He has given us to withstand in the darkness. As long as we live on this spinning globe, we will never be fully immersed in his light, but when we see Him face to face in His Kingdom, all the pain we endured will melt away and we will be healed by his presence, finally able to completely fulfill our purpose, and completely live, moving toward the source of our life, His light.


  1. I especially like this line, "Bulbs are built to hope, because they themselves rarely see the sun, but they send up their shoots to find it."

    I hope you are applying this to the hard things in your life right now.

  2. Those daffodil bulbs are a beautiful metaphor for living life in the face of adversity. Wonderful post!

    Thanks for the follow! I look forward to reading more from you :)

  3. Thank you, Nicole, Sandra, and Carole for reading, glad to contribute something helpful.

    Sandra- I am trying to do just that:).