By CAROLE DAVIS
On March 20, 2013 we'll joyfully celebrate the first day of Spring. Vegetation begins to really grow, and we begin to mow our new, lime-green grass in our yards. Flowers are beginning to profusely pop up everywhere. How fantastic and lovely are our Mississippi months of March, April and May. When we reach this time of the year we all say, "At last — spring has sprung."
My wonderful Daddy used to tell me, “Carole, Mississippi is the most lovely in the months of spring. Our pastures look very delicious as we pass by and see our Jersey cows grazing on the tall beautiful grass."
This year, we began to see the very first hint of our upcoming spring weeks ahead of March. I saw daffodils beginning to peep up through the cold soil in January. I nearly wrecked my car on South Washington Street when I spotted a whole circle of these yellow flowers blooming around a black yard lamp. Suddenly I saw them wink and say to me, “Hello, did you know that happy, more colorful days are just about to arrive in Starkville?”
What is a daffodil anyway? It is a narcissus, a western European plant, Narcissus pseudonarcissus. It is the Welsh national emblem. I wonder if we should all plant at least one daffodil in our yard, and then Starkville could be known as "The Daffodil City.”
Several years ago my sweet husband Frank gave me lots of daffodil bulbs in a huge box wrapped up in cute birthday paper. What a sweet, charming, colorful and forever-lasting gift he gave to me that year. They are now blooming so beautifully. I love them, and I love Frank's thoughtful gift that keeps on giving me his love through their lovely flowering bulbs planted deep in our soil all over our yard each March.
The groundhog told us he did not see his shadow at all this February, and I believed him. Early in the morning on February 6, 2013 I went out our back screen door, and I headed right to the front yard where the most beautiful patch of daffodils were swaying in a light breeze of the early morning. The bright sunshine was out, and there was not a cloud in sight. I leaned down and snipped three of the largest yellow flowers.
I had sent Frank out to his little garden house to see if he could find a suitable vase to become the home for these three daffodils. As I made my way to the back area of our yard I spotted Frank coming outside of his garden house, and he was almost cuddling an antique Orange Crush soft drink bottle. It was a recent gift from our sweet friends, Jerry and Jerelyn Scrivner. They both knew how much I loved bottles, and they gave me their whole collection as an extra special gift. I have quite a deep love affair with bottles and bottle trees. I have my own collection of bottle trees that live all over our front, back and side yards. One day I came back home from going downtown, and a wonderful gentleman, Will Green Poindexter Sr. from Sunflower County, had just left me a medium sized bottle tree filled with tiny bottles at the end of the back steps leading towards the back screened in porch. Will Green made me this sweet gift himself. It is the thoughtful and unexpected things in life that someone does for you that means so much to all of us.
Why do I enjoy and love bottles so much? As an artist, I enjoy the lights and shadows that bounce on and off the bottles themselves as the changing lights and shadows all day long when the sunshine hits the glass bottles. They are just as pretty when it is a gloomy day. I think every bottle is very artistic in their colors, shapes and sizes.
The dark brown amber, burnt-orange bottle was the symbol of the famous Orange Crush bottle is no longer in existence. Each one is truly antique now. I quickly filled up my amber bottle with water from our kitchen sink. I carefully tied one knot of a wide gold shiny (wire-sided) beautiful ribbon around the neck of the bottle, and I curled up the ends of the charming gold ribbon with my fingers to make it look almost like a bow had been tied.
Suddenly I saw a simple, beautiful still life. It is called, “A House Piece,” which means that it has always been, housed in our our 102 year old home.
See the hand tatted lace tiny table cloth underneath the Orange Crush antique bottle. My own Granny made this tiny cloth piece. Look and find the interesting background for the main still life creation. See how very unique this background of white and dark brown lends itself to highlighting the main subject of the three very yellow daffodils in it's dark brown amber vase. This unique background makes the whole still life most stunning.
The antique crystal chandelier that hangs above this sitting parlor leading to the upstairs of our home is invisible to you, but the lights from the chandelier cast such a heavenly glow on the top of the amber-colored, antique soft drink bottle. They are exciting and fascinating when the brightest lights hit the glass. Now look hard and find the long stems of the flowers inside the lighter parts of the amber glass. These tall stems give stability to the three flowers. These dark green stems certainly anchor all three daffodils to the antique side tables.
Promise me that you will keep a smile on your face, have a skip in your step and live each second with a fantastic attitude and happiness way down deep in your hearts and souls about just being alive. Today, life is yellow, colorful and great because it's a daffodilly day.
Carole McReynolds Davis is a local artist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .