I get a lot of joy watching our bulbs bloom. Part of it is that I actually planted them (gardening is not something I am particularly drawn to), so that they seem to be part of my creation in a way. Another part of it is that they are a symbol of spring and a much-needed lift to the landscape of a hard winter in Kansas. But as I have found myself checking the progress of the bulbs regularly, and now that my daffodils have finally opened, I realize that part of the joy I receive is based on the fulfillment of the anticipation I have built up.
Daffodils are my favorite. The crocus, being the first to show, is a boost, but the yellow perkiness has it beat for me. I wondered, what foods make me feel the way I feel when I see those first daffodils blooming in my yard? At first, I couldn’t get beyond the color – the yellowness of lemons: lemon bars, lemon souffle, lemonade. Then other spring vegetables came to mind, like the first tender asparagus sold at the farmer’s market.
Then Robert had a wonderful answer when I asked him about culinary applications for the feeling of daffodils. “My first cup of coffee in the morning”, he said. At first I had a hard time seeing the relationship, then it seemed like a brilliant summation of anticipation fulfilled. I suppose it is the same principle that makes ‘playing hard to get’ with other people actually work. When we have to wait for something we want, it seems better. When I have to crack open the shell of a crab leg and dig around for a bite, it tastes better than it would if it were just presented on my plate. Most people don’t wish to actually wait for anything, but I think that I will try to see waiting as an opportunity for increased pleasure when the anticipation is finally fulfilled.
I may need to remind myself of this next time I am put on hold on the phone…