I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
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 waves in glee:
A poet could not but be 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.
When I was in high school, I had to memorize Wordsworth's vibrant poem about daffodils. Unlike so many things I've forgotten since age 16, this poem has stuck with me and the lines come back to me often. The imagery is what captivates me; 10,000 daffodils covering a hillside is indeed a blissful thought.
Where I live, in the northeast US, April is the month of daffodils. Winter storms are losing their intensity and warmer days are edging back in. This month, for me, is also about motherhood because my son was born in mid-April. I remember the early hours of laboring, walking around my backyard trying to focus on the newly-sprouted daffodils and breathe through the pain. And days later, when all was done and I was allowed to leave the hospital and bring my new baby home, a host of golden daffodils filled the gardens surrounding the exit doors, dancing in the breeze, waving to me as I embarked on my new life as a mother.
April is a time of transition, of change, of memory. This year, my son turns 12, and I'm constantly trying to reconcile the baby he once was with this bright, energetic young teenager I live with now.
The thing about Wordsworth's poem that I didn't understand at 16, but have come to see almost twenty years later, is that experiences go by in a flash. Weather changes, stories end, children grow up. And though I wouldn't want to go back to that first scary day of motherhood, with so many sleepless and tearful nights to come, the memories of those days hold a certain kind of wealth.
Many of the stories in this April issue are also of transition, birth, and sleepless nights. I hope readers will turn in to Literary Mama this month and find tales of motherhood that will inspire you to go back out into the world to make memories of your own.
Welcome to the April issue.
P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. Also, explore our archives to discover more mothers' voices!
Snowy Sky by Rebecca Givens Rolland
A Conversation with Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew by Jude Walsh
A Review of Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood by Jamie Wendt
A Review of Madwoman by Karen Craigo
Photos by Amanda Jaros, Libat Ohayon, Anna Starkova, Gaelle Marcel, Rudri Patel, and Heather Vrattos