A Melancholic Look at a Daffodil

Well, it’s spring and I want to feel happy about this. So I go into the garden. Of course, the daffodils are emerging and I have that little spurt of joy that I get whenever I see a plant preparing to bloom, or in bloom, or after it’s bloomed. Basically a plant not dead cheers me up.P1050727

So here’s what having a depressed mind is like. . .those little moments take on an intense sense of urgency, as though a glimpse at a daffodil can save my life. I walk by, see the flower and remember. . .oh yeah, life is worth living after all. Then the moment ends and it’s back to running through the litany of things to support the contrary.

Some mornings I get overwhelmed by the idea of getting out of bed. On days like this I try to drag myself out to the garden to look at the damn daffodils or whatever else has burst into bloom with complete disregard for my melancholia.

Being human is not a happy adventure for me. Most days I am fine with this. After all, suffering is a common and legitimate human condition. Anyone who says the world is full of happy campers lives on another planet. Or is a bunny.

Here’s the poet William Wordsworth on Daffodils


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.

William Wordsworth