LC's Take: There's gold in them thar hills

Posted Thursday, June 5, 2014 in Features

LC's Take: There's gold in them thar hills

by LC Van Savage


 A friend brought daffodils one dark, wintry day

That I put on the table in one long, bright ray

Of thin wint’ry sunshine. That remarkable sight

Caused that dark, cold room to fill with daylight.

I pulled up a chair to sit close to the blooms

Their scent and warm glow flooded through my home's rooms.

         But the best thing those sweet flowers did those days

Was to pull my mind back to old Aprils and Mays

When again Mrs. Vaughn's daffodils were reborn

In the rot of old leaves and buried acorn.

       Mrs. Vaughn's old home at the base of steep slopes

Fringed thick with Birch, and Pine petticoats.

Those hills 'round her home were dark from the trees

No sun could get through, no summer's sweet breeze.

      But one fall, years back, as a very young bride

She’d stood gazing up at those hills, wide-eyed

And thought "Those old hills can’t stand there so dark

"The only bright things on them is the birch bark.

"I so want to brighten those slopes in some way

"To make them glow somehow, to make them look gay.

"But how shall I do that without cutting down

"Those beautiful trees?" She stood looking ‘round.

And then the young woman looked up and she smiled 

And knew at that moment she'd soon change those wild

Hills 'round her home.  She just had to add

Some flowers, some beauty, with these things she'd clad

Those ancient dark hills 'round her home, and she then

Went to a plant store, bought bulbs, and when 

She came home with them, thousands! all carried in pails,

She grabbed an old trowel, tied her hair in pigtails

And trudged up those hills. Her mission was clear;

Those dark hills would brighten the spring of next year.

         And then next spring came and everyone gasped

When they looked at those hills. They just could not grasp

What their eyes were seeing. The sight was superb

The dark hills were covered with blooms and song bird.

They saw Mrs. Vaughn’s hard work of last fall

And they stood looking up, they grinned, were enthralled.

All over those hills, and straight up to the tops

Were thousands of daffodils, each bloom now a-pop!

The gold blossoms didn’t mind in the least

That there was no sun for them, north, south or east.

The sight was so lovely, it took breath away

And people walked by there to look each Spring day.

And as the years passed, Mrs. Vaughn added more

Until those old hills were ablaze! Like gold ore!

         The daffodil's blooms returned every year

Decorating those hills. They're still there, I hear.

I'll never forget what that nice woman did

To redress those gloomed hills, make them splendid!

         The sight of those blooms on my table that day

Did more than just brighten my home with display

Of velvety yellow. And that dizzying bouquet!

It dazzled my soul on that cold, wintry day.

They made me remember that sight, now quite old

In my memory; dark woods with spots of pure gold,

Tall hills thickly covered with dense, old tall trees

The ground heav'ly covered with soft, spongy leaves

And a young dreamy bride hauling stout pails

Of daffodil bulbs, her hair in pigtails,

And old trowel clutched in her tiny, strong hand

With which she dug holes in that darkened, steep land.

Dear Mrs. Vaughn left a great legacy

By planting those bulbs for us.  Prima facie!

         So the gift of those blooms that day I recalled

The sight of those hills of my youth; therewithal

I finally said "thanks, Mrs. Vaughn," and I sighed

And hoped I'd told her that long 'fore she died. 

         I now know that gift of fragrant, sweet flowers

Had amazing, dynamic, magical powers.

And I've learned too there's nothing can chase winter's chills

Like the sight of a gift from a friend; daffodils.

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