written by fiona
published on March 28, 2022
On a recent run around the southern half of Tempelhofer Feld I notice a clump of miniature daffodils on my right, a couple of metres into the field. A playful little environmental intervention. Heading home, my mind wanders to how they arrived there.
I imagine someone coming to that spot at the end of the Summer, with a friend. They were visiting the city together and had such a great time they wanted to celebrate and give something back. The bulbs were an impulse buy at the grocery store when they’d acquired the beers and picnic items.
In the waning golden light as they finish their beers, they dig a hole together (using their empty beer bottles). They place the bulbs in the ground unsure if these tiny beings will ever sprout — surrounded on all sides by dense wild grass. Before they leave they conclude the ceremony by taking turns to pour water on the earthy patch, saying a few words of encouragement to the dormant blooms.
I wonder if they’ve visited the spot since and seen them triumph. Maybe it makes them smile just knowing that the flowers might be there even if they are not — a more subtle “I waz here” than the graffiti adorned buildings, though no less conspicuous. I wonder who else these tiny flowers have inspired just by being there, out of place?
Of course there’s a more likely, less romantic explanation for them being there. Someone (probably inebriated) thought it would be funny if they moved a few daffodils from one part of the park, where there were many, to the middle of the field, where there are none. Their friends laugh and call them crazy and they wake up the next day, head pounding, wondering why their fingernails are so filthy.
No matter, they’re still a delight.
Returning to the patch on my next run to take a photo, I approach the spot from the opposite direction and don’t see them right away. For a moment I think they’ve been trodden on, or picked, but then I spot the little splash of yellow. On closer inspection I notice there is also a large white rock right next to them. To me this indicates that someone wanted to remember where they’d been planted so they could return to the spot.
A few days later, running by the patch again, I notice the stone has been kicked aside, further into the field. Maybe someone thought they looked better without it?
These regular daffodil visits remind me of a great piece by Rob Walker about revisiting the same place. I know at some point soon these blooms will wither and the bulbs will become dormant once again. This spot will become just another patch of grass in the endless field. but for one season only, it’s a destination.
Rob Walker also recently posted about noticing something that’s out of place, a category which this little flower patch fits neatly into.
written by fiona
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