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.
from the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"
by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
English Romantic Poet
Back when I was a Freshman in college, about this time of year, my twin brother, who went to the same school, had been home for the weekend -- but not me. To make up for my having stayed behind (for whatever reason, can't remember now), my mom sent back an armload of daffodils in all colors from our big yard and instructed my brother to deliver them to my dorm when he got back to campus on Sunday evening. This he did, along with a couple of his friends; and naturally I was overjoyed to put the daffodils on display, a burst of Spring and a reminder of home.
Later than evening, one of my neighboring suite mates, who had yet to meet my brother, came into my room and immediately exclaimed, "Did your brother bring you those flowers from home?"
"Uh . . . yes . . . ." I answered, more than a little puzzled. How did she know that? Because awhile earlier she had passed three guys in the Student Union, one of whom was carrying a big brown grocery bag full of daffodils and complaining to his buddies, "I don't know why my mom is making me bring these stupid flowers to my sister."
So as soon as my suite mate saw the bouquet on my windowsill, she put two and two together, realizing that by coincidence she had caught a glimpse of my mysterious brother, whom she had yet to meet, even though the school year was nearly over (I can't really remember how that happened either; it wasn't a large campus).
In the meantime, I had folded up the brown grocery bag and stuck it in my closet along with a some other empty boxes and bags. The following month, when I was heading home for the summer, most of the bags in this stash were leftover, unused. I debated: Keep "just in case" or "throw away" (remember, this was pre-recycle). At the last minute, I just tossed them in on top of some other stuff and carted them back home. So what if they were destined merely for the trash? I could worry about that later.
Somewhere along the way, it dawned on my brother, also home for the summer, that his Senior Ring from high school was missing since . . . he couldn't remember when. You can probably guess by now where the ring turned up. Sorting through my dorm debris, I shook open a grocery bag to use for trash -- yes, that same grocery bag that had been used a few months before to transport those stupid flowers -- and there clunking around in the bottom of the bag was the missing class ring with its big blue stone. Funny I hadn't noticed it on the night of the daffodils, but good thing I hadn't thrown that bag away!
Little did we know what wealth those daffodils would bring!
For more Lost & Found, see
THE FORTNIGHTLY KITTI CARRIKER
my fortnightly literary blog
of connection and coincidence
For reading ideas, see
my running list of recent reading