Late winter is the perfect season to trek across discarded road beds and fallow fields in search of long lost homesteads. For me, one of the best reasons to search now is because the snakes are still hibernating -- good call. However, an even better reason to set out in late February or early March is because nature and your ancestors teamed together to leave behind a vivid reminder of their presence long after a building might have been destroyed. These beautiful golden clues are daffodil flowers, often called buttercups by Southerners.
As I drive along the country lane where I now live, I see hillside after hillside painted gold by these beautiful flowers that some ancestral neighbor thoughtfully planted in her yard or garden. Even the shoulders of our interstate highway is covered in blooms to mark where the making of that road took away someone's homesite.
My grandmother's hillside is covered by a variety of daffodils, from the huge jonquils to tiny narcissus blooms. I can close my eyes and see my brother walking in our front door with his arms filled with these fragrant reminders that warm weather is just around the bend. The road on which my grandmother lived is all but forgotten today, and I can only imagine that, for our generations to come in the future, her flowers may be the last indication of her tenure on the land.
Whether you are interested in finding long lost family homesites or simply in enjoying these heralds of spring, remember to say a little words of thanks for those who walked these paths before you and left bits of beauty for us to enjoy. May we, too, think of those who are yet to come and leave beauty for them in our wake.