This is not a post about daffodils, I assure you, in spite of the quote I am about to share.
As we all know, the only way to plant daffodils is to pile them on to a tray, and then to run out into the orchard and hurl the tray into the air, planting them exactly where they fall. There may be other, less orthodox methods; if so they should be spurned. The tray, the ecstatic gesture — that is the only sure road to success. –Beverley Nichols
Excellent advice for planting daffodils, but what do you think about the three other words in this quote which have been niggling away at me for some time now? The Ecstatic Gesture. How I love the idea of it. It is the exuberant release of inhibition and the joyful expression of individuality which appeal to me so deeply. And leave me feeling vaguely inadequate somehow.
Why? Because I’m just not capable of the ecstatic gesture. Not really. I have my moments when I might burst into song to an indifferent audience of one Westie-boy, but that’s not exactly a daily occurrence. Am I some sort of dullard that I am not metaphorically hurling bulbs into the air? So steeped in introversion that I’m left pining away on the sidelines not experiencing life to its fullest, more an observer than participant?
I’ve asked friends the ecstatic gesture question. One described running outside after a drought into the pouring rain to dance and splash in the puddles. Marvelous! But I wouldn’t do that. Not because I don’t think it’s wonderful, but because it wouldn’t even occur to me.
Fortunately, there is a flip side to this gesture coin.
A dear friend lost her husband a few weeks ago, and there have been, among the tears, many warm and funny memories shared of this special man. He was an extrovert, I guess, a man capable of – if not ecstatic gestures – certainly memorable ones. He once gelled up his hair troll doll-style and came downstairs for breakfast with a perfectly straight face while his family collapsed in helpless laughter. How do you not love a man like that?
Of all the stories I’ve heard about him over the years, my favorite surfaced just a day or two after his death. It involved something quiet and intimate. It seems that occasionally before leaving for work in the morning, he would write a love note on an orange in the fruit bowl. “I Love You.” “You’re Beautiful.” Imagine the delight upon its discovery. Imagine the impact of this one small gesture in the life of his now grieving wife.
This is what it’s all about, I suppose. It’s not so important that the gesture itself be an ecstatic one. What really matters is to leave behind a trail of gestures that have left others feeling ecstatic, loved or cherished.
Even introverts can do that.
How about you? Introvert or extrovert? Ecstatic gesture or no?
And I thank you for reading,