Thursday, March 12, 2015

A jarful of sunshine




 
The first flowers I ever received from a boy were daffodils. We were in seventh grade and there was a fundraiser: kids could buy two daffodils for a dollar and have them delivered during the last period of the day. The boy who sent me daffodils was my "boyfriend" at the time. Oh, he was cute. And funny! I've always gone for the funny, even at thirteen (well, even earlier than that). We met in math class and bonded over a shared love of movies such as Airplane and The Naked Gun. He made me laugh so hard, I would get hiccups. He did voice impressions and quoted comedians. I rewarded him with endless laughter. Comedy was the way to my pubescent heart. Nothing has changed, really; I'm sitting next to the middle-aged version of him as I write.

That said, I've only recently begun to appreciate daffodils themselves. I'm not usually drawn to yellow - mellow mustard tones notwithstanding - but in early spring, when daffodils pop up all over the neighborhood and cheap bunches arrive in my favorite grocery store, I become sort of a yellow-convert. It looks good to me and I want it in my home. I buy the cheap bunches, usually two or three of them at a time, and spread them all over the house, a few in each room. They're cheery and their scent is light and I can have lots of them. They don't look like much at first; they flop over in the mason jars and ceramic pitchers I place them in. But when they bloom, they suddenly stand at attention. For a few days, they cast a sunny glow wherever I put them.

Daffodil season has inspired me to reconsider yellow. I went looking for color words that describe yellow and found many interesting terms. Color words fascinate me. I enjoy breaking them apart to find the root words within them. Here are some of my favorites: vitellary, xanthic, sulphureous, luteous, meline, jessamy, icterine, citreous, flavescent. I love meline, meaning honey-colored, and jessamy, related to jasmine. Luteous seems biological. Icterine reminds me of fish. Citreous is obvious. Sulphureous is unpleasant. Each describes yellow in a way you can see. Yellow, a word that has some negative connotations - yellow-bellied - and some sickly-sounding ones - jaundice, yellow fever - has intriguing, evocative ones too. Yellow is growing on me.

36 comments:

  1. I love having daffodils and tulips all over the house at this time of year.

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  2. I love daffodils too - so cheering. It's strange, people often talk about their delicate scent but I can never smell anything - I think perhaps I'm missing the relevant gene! Coincidentally, I talked about 'sunshine in a jar' on my blog too today, but I was referring to lemon curd - it must be the time of year; we certainly seem to be longing for sun here in England. x

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  3. Daffodils have become synonymous with Spring! Here in Kentucky they are just now beginning to open!
    Lovely bouquet!

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  4. It's lovely to see bunches of Daffodils around the house, it means winter is ending. I love Daffs, but I'm not a lover of yellow either xx

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  5. Yellow was my favourite colour when I was little. So sunny, nothing looked right without yellow. Love the words, especially jessamy. There's always so much yellow at this time of year isn't there. A real spring colour. CJ xx

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  6. I don't get daffodils. At all. urgh. Even seeing a field of them leaves me cold. I do remember that my Grandma loved them so I loved giving them to her. I'd take an armful of tulips anyday.

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  7. I love daffodils. I think it's because they're one of the first signs that spring might actually be around the corner. Let's hope so anyway! :o)

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  8. i know what you mean, each spring its like we all suddenly go "oh hello yellow! id forgotten all about you". I do love daffodils, you cant fail to be cheered up by them can you.
    Jillxx

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  9. I like daffodils because they're so cheery and mean Spring is here!

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  10. Your list of words related to "yellow", makes me think I'm reading a chinese blogpost ;-))) Some of those words I've never even heard !!
    Love the story of the young daffodil boy.. so romantic he's still there with you...

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  11. I think Spring is yellows best season, we are so are so winter weary that the sight of those brilliant daffodils fill us with joy!

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  12. I love seeing those flowers and they are a ray of sunshine.

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  13. Hey Jennifer,
    There are fields of daffodils in my part of the world at the moment. I keep meaning to take photographs, but the weather has been lousy this week. I'm not sure whether I like them in bud or full bloom. A lad that makes you laugh and gives you flowers, is a win/win in my book too.
    Leanne xx

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  14. I love daffodils as they are a sign that the world is warming. Ours are not even coming up out the soil yet, still too cool they will arrive soon I am sure :). Love the list of words for yellow. Airplane is one of my all time favourite funny films along with Monty Python the Holy Grail, I have copies of them both ;)

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  15. There is nothing like a splash of happy yellow in a vase to brighten up those early spring days!
    Caz xx

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  16. I love daffodils, and I am glad that you are loving them too!! xx

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  17. Hi Jennifer,

    I love your pretty daffodils - they really are such bright and cheery flowers and the colour gorgeous.
    Hope you are enjoying the week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  18. I adore a bouquet of daffodils in the Spring! I actually adore yellow and out family room and dining room walls are a happy butter yellow. It makes me feel as if the sun is shining during our long, grey winters. I'm the same way with orange though.. I'm not much for it, but in the fall I go all gaga over it. Funny! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  19. Such a gorgeous bouquet Jennifer! I really enjoyed your memories about this flower! So fun to think back...it reminded me that we had something similar at my school but with roses! I prefer the daffs though...they are a free and lively flower! Happy Friday to you sweet friend! Nicole xo

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  20. Daffodils are wonderful and love it when they grow, I have only a few here and look forward to seeing them later in the year here xoxo

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  21. Gorgeous daffodils....a jar of sunshine is right, Jennifer! Thank you for this sunny post.
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  22. Yellow is one of my favourite colours, though I can't wear it. So, like you, I revel in the daffodils when they arrive Incidentally, for me a good sense of humour is far more important in a man than good looks and lasts better. :-)

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  23. I love yellow, particularly a clear bright lemon colour, which I can and do wear. I never saw a real daffodil until I grew up, as it really is too hot to grow them here. However, I do manage to produce one or two most years. They appear in our shops for a couple of weeks each spring, and I too love to buy and bring them home - they fill the house with a jar of sunshine, as you say. HB and I still amuse each other after all these years - it certainly makes life run more smoothly to have a sense of humour.

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  24. I think daffodils are underrated, they have such an incredible beauty, with their slightly ruffled edges.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  25. Yellow was never one of my favorite colors either - probably because I look terrible in that color (pale skin, blonde hair). But over the years, I've come to love it, especially a pale yellow. At least in decorating. Still can't wear the color. ;-) I love when I see daffodils growing all along the roadsides and in neighbor's yards. Definitely a sign of spring.

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  26. I love yellow flowers and daffodils are one of my favourites. They're just so cheery, and you definitely need cheering up at the end of winter when they bloom.

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  27. I love yellow. It's one of my favourite colours since I was a kid. We don't have daffodils in the Philippines so they're new to me but they are now one of my favourites. I love their bright, cheerful colours and they bloom towards the end of winter which is always, to me, a happy time. X

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  28. I'm not a big fan of yellow, but I do adore daffodils in the Spring! Thank you for this sunny post, as we are having a grey, rainy day here.

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  29. Thanks for all the "yellow" words, Jennifer. I am not familiar with most of them and I enjoyed thinking about their meanings with you. Yellow has never been my favorite color, but I have been especially enjoying daffodils this year :-). xx

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  30. We have fields of daffodils growing across Cornwall, it always lifts my spirits when I see the distinctive yellow on the landscape.

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  31. Flowers do brighten a room! Lovely daffodils.
    Amalia
    xo

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  32. Your digression into the dictionary is such fun, and exactly the kind of thing that I like to do. I have a book called Elephant's Breath and London Smoke that's about words for colours, I think you'd like it.

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  33. Fabulous post Jennifer! You know I adore yellow, and daffodils. I didn't have time to buy any over the weekend but you'd love, LOVE, the way the roadsides round here are full of them. If I remember (or have time!) I'll send you some photos. x

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  34. I adore daffodils too and the sight of a pretty bunch of them never fails to make me smile.
    Marianne x

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  35. I love daffodil season too, and like you, enjoy filling jugs and glasses all round the house! X

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