Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dancing with the daffodils

It was a bit of a rough morning. I wasn't living up to my peaceful aspirations. The entire office was on edge. It got so bad that after awhile we exaggerated our angst, joking and laughing and bursting into snippets of song. The bosses stayed buried in their cubicles, waiting for the storm to pass, I suppose. One of my coworkers, as irritable and feisty as any of us, complained of feeling alone with her mountain of work.

"I'm wandering lonely as a cloud," she said. Someone took up the next phrase, "That floats on high o'er vales and hills." I added, "When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils." And just like that, people returned to their desks, the very air seemed to change. Keyboards clacked and voices relaxed, responding to calls, one after another.

My heart slowed its hard, fast beating to a more comfortable, softer pace. My breath lengthened and sunk deeper, wider into my lungs. My shoulders relaxed. For just a second, I heard my mama's voice, her beautiful alto voice, quietly full of passion and glory so that we saw the blowsy wind amidst the daffodils, felt the coolish breeze.

When I was a little girl, my mama would quote the entire poem, probably does yet today. I give it to you here, complete, a respite perhaps in your hectic day.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
by William Wordsworth, 1802

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.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


  1. A lovely post and a testament to healing rituals that spontaneously erupt, reminding us of our common roots.

    My gran planted a small field of daffodils. Straight rows that eventually crowded so close together that it was one solid mass, with no room to bloom or breath.

    Sometimes I wonder if there are any left, lurking beneath a tree.

  2. william wordsworth was such a tremendous poet . I still miss him .

  3. Thanks for stopping by Gratitude Practices and for your kind words. Wanda is a peach, huh? I have been reading through your blog and I like what you write. Very insightful and hearfelt. I'll add you to my reader list!

    Blessed be! Life is good.

  4. Hayden, thank you for your thoughtful comment and the images you evoked of your gran laying out the rows. Do you suppose she knew they would become a solid mass of springtime sunshine?

    Wholesome, impishly, I can't resist asking how you miss a poet no one living can know, save by his words.

    Rebecca, thank you, and yes, Wanda is a peach. Hers is one of the first blogs I stumbled upon, and I've been reading her since. I've kept one or more of her blogs on my blogroll for a few years now, as well. I recommend her to anyone needing salient advice, a good dose of humor, and some color in their day.


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