This weeks theme for Sunday Stamps is 'flowers, or Spring'.
Actually it is the end of summer here in South Africa. Where I live we will soon experience a short autumn period but it is hardly noticeable as most trees and shrubs are evergreen. Down the road in the park there are some plane trees which turn golden and look very pretty until the colder weather arrives. They are native to North America and I think they might be called Sycamores there.
Then there will be two or three months of cool, crisp days and chilly nights (by our standard, for example I hardly think a Canadian will be bothered to even think of putting on a long sleeved shirt). During this time is is usually very dry and then in August the rains come and summer is not far away.
When I lived in England, for the first time ever I experienced all the seasons. In London spring lasts a very short time, characterised by the wonderful flowering blossoms in many front gardens. I saw cherry blossoms for the first time and fell in love with them. Or perhaps I had seen them before in South Africa but taken them for granted in a country which is so full of wonderful plant life you can hardly look anywhere without your senses being overwhelmed. After the bleak miserable winter in London I saw cherry blossoms and I felt like Cinderella when her fairy Godmother turns up!
But before the blossoms, the first flower that I saw in early spring was the delicate daffodil. How astonished I was one day, trudging to Sainsbury's across a public field used by kids to play football, miserably hunched over by the cold to see three golden delights in the mud under a tree. I stopped and stared, just astonished that something so wonderful could grow in such a grey and sodden world. Suddenly there was hope!
Anyway this lovely daffodil stamp was part of a set of 4 released by USPS on March 15, 2005. The other flowers are a hyacinth, an iris and a tulip. The artist was Christopher Pullman.
I leave you now with a poem by William Wordsworth.
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 leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but 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.