Appalachia

Walking The Paths Known To Your Ancestors

Daffodils bloom near old home place in smoky mountain national park

For a brief respite you walked the paths known to your ancestors. How firm the tread, how sweet the memories. And there, amidst debris, came a promise bright: daffodils abloom shedding fragrance on the air. Like these flowers, reminders, fragile and passing, were carried from that sacred vale where waters roll and tumble and where ties bind the heart anew.

~Ethelene Dyer Jones – March 2014

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Tipper

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Quinn
    March 17, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Daffodils are a ways off here, but yesterday I saw my roof for the first time in months! It’s a start.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

    An appreciation and affection for both walking and studying the paths of our forebears is one which, for most of us (speaking for yours truly), comes as we accumulate years of our own upon which to look back.
    How much more difficult the task when those forebears are no longer here to talk with and question.
    We’re blessed to have amongst us folks from a younger generation like Tipper and my research partner, Wendy Meyers, whose wisdom exceeds their years.
    Either that, or they’re old before their time 😉

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    March 14, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Who is Henry Horton, and where do I find his book of poetry? Loved today’s short poem.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    March 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Our brother lives up in the NW PA mountains where our Dad once hunted and played, and I’m sure when he’s walking some of those same trails, he sees things Dad pointed out to him and shares them with his children, passing down information that may have once seemed to go in one ear and out the other, but stuck and now is well known as valuable wisdom indeed.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The portion of William Wordsworth poem that I loved and reminded me of sidewalks and lakeside drives planted with thousands of daffodils in more populated areas in our parks and cities…. He says,
    “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
    Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not be gay,
    In such a jocund company!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    It is now 12:44. Early this morning I responded to Tipper’s post for today–in which she so kindly posted a nostalgic thought, together with her beautiful old chimney and the daffodils in a deserted place, the illustration well-fitting to the words of times gone and places our ancestors lived. I thought how often, coming upon daffodils gently waving in spring’s breeze, do we recall times and people and how the flowers, still blooming today, tell of their presence, their aspirations, the values they passed on to us. William Wordsworth &1780-1850), one of the beloved English “Lake Poets,” penned in 1807 these lines many of us memorized in our youth:
    “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.
    A poet could not but be gay
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
    What wealth to me the show 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.”
    Yes! And I liked Henry Horton’s poem in response to my lines and Tipper’s beautiful photograph. As you see daffodils, in well-tended beds beside current residences or somewhere in a vale beside a forgotten dwelling, may your “heart leap up…and dance with the daffodils.”

  • Reply
    dolores
    March 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Such beautiful words for a beautiful day and flowers along the way!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    March 14, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Saw the first bloom this week!! Mine are up & have buds so it won’t be long.

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    March 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    What beautiful words to usher in this bright, sunshiny day here in east Texas.

  • Reply
    Ken
    March 14, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Tipper,
    Like Ethelene, I too have stood on the ground where my parents lived back in the late 20’s and early 30’s. Three black walnut trees adorn their front yard and a cool Mountain Branch runs nearby. Wild hogs are still plentyful there and turkeys get their fill from the overhead canopy of Fall grapes…Ken

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    March 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Just noticed some daffodils my mother planted years ago this week. Things will be blooming soon that came from my grandmother’s house. She passed away in 1983.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 14, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Tipper,
    Beautiful reminisce composed by Ethelene….and how many that have revisited the old home place have similar peaceful thoughts…
    TO A WOOD-ROBIN
    Lo, where the blooming woodland wakes
    From wintry slumbers long,
    Thy heart, a bud of silence, breaks
    To ecstasy of song.
    ~~by John Tabb~~
    My daffodils and narcissus are as late blooming as they have ever been…but my beautiful birds have been singing loud and clear since the middle of February!
    Thanks Tipper,
    and Ethelene

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    March 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Beautiful MARCH FLOWERS! My mother always called the daffodils ‘March Flowers’. Already I must have a hundred crocus blooming and before them were the winter aconites, which were the very first to bloom. They make a great show,long before the March Flowers.
    Nellie, from the ‘GARDEN OF EVA’

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

    At least ever since the days of William Wordsworth (1770-1850), who made famous the lines of his poem about daffodils, these cold-braving flowers, still growing and blooming in places long abandoned, inspire and uplift. I liked Henry Horton’s poem above. Thank you, Henry, for sharing your lines about daffodils. I hope this journey down memory lane today will bring to mind how we, like Wordsworth, one of the “Lake Poets” of English fame, can attest to how we, too, love daffodils and are inspired by the memories they stir up:
    “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.” (-Wordsworth, 1807).
    When you come upon a “host of golden daffodils,” as I did in ancestral woods, may you think of the hands that lovingly planted them, not knowing that a hundred or more years into the future someone would still be thrilled by seeing “a daffodil, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 14, 2015 at 8:19 am

    What beautiful thoughts.
    So many of the rural roads have now been turned into 4-lanes. It is getting harder and harder to walk those great country roads we knew as children.
    Progress is coming to Cherokee County also and I am surprised to see how folks are eagerly awaiting it.
    I guess I am in the minority.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    March 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Love the vision and the imagery.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

    My music player just came on today. I have no idea why it waited till today. I sure is nice to have the family back singing for me!

  • Reply
    Henry Horton
    March 14, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Sweet; yesterday the thrill
    spring’s first daffodil i spied
    amidst the rock fall
    above the road where days
    ago snow’s coverlet
    had blanketed the hill.
    A tiny thing it was
    six inches high at most;
    it’s sunshine in the rain
    blest the evening chill.
    Spring’s first daffodil!
    hh – /3/14/15

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 14, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Yes, there are daffodils blooming now at my new home in the mountains. I think they were probably planted here many years ago for me to see when I walked this path.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    March 14, 2015 at 7:22 am

    This article brought back memories of my grandparent’s (Jude and Estell Davis) tenant house. The old rock chimney stood for years and flowers still come up after close to a hundred years.

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