The yellow bells are shining from the hills and hollers of southern Appalachia. I see their brightness as I drive along the curvy roads on my way to and fro. I see their brightness from my kitchen window too.
Forsythia, or yellow bells as its commonly called, thrives in our mountains. I have always thought of it as an old fashioned flower. Both Mamaw and Granny Gazzie had it growing in their yards.
Twenty years ago when we first moved into our house I was always looking for things to plant in our barren red clay yard. I should say I was always looking for FREE things to plant. Money was scarce but there was always a generous soul willing to share a cutting or start of something they had.
Granny shared her yellow bells with me and she showed me how to plant them. She said “Come Spring of the year we’ll get you some cuttings from my forsythia bushes, all you have to do is stick them in the ground and they’ll live.” It wasn’t that I didn’t believe Granny, but it seemed impossible that all I had to do was cut a piece off and stick it in my red clay dirt and I’d have my own yellow bell bushes.
But that’s exactly what we did. The bushes are still alive today. They throw out their vibrant welcome for spring each and every year.
Sometimes you can find yellow bells blooming way back in the mountains. Don Casada taught me yellow bells are a sure sign of an old homeplace.
I believe the bright yellow blooms of the bushes that continue to grow where people have long since stopped living carry forth part of the beauty and hope from the caring hands which planted them so many years ago.