Throughout the Ozarks, some 50,000 additional daffodils bloomed this spring to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. I must admit, we “borrowed” the idea from our colleagues in Oklahoma City, but I love what it does, and what it symbolizes.
In my last year at Ole Miss, I moved into a duplex on the outskirts of Oxford with some buddies. (One of whom went on to be a multiterm mayor of Oxford … proof there is redemption). The duplex was very nondescript, and I think my bedroom was originally intended to be a utility room, as you had to walk through it to get to our only bathroom. Nobody ever said life was fair.
When spring came, earlier in northern Mississippi than in the Ozarks, daffodils started coming up in a field next to us. Multitudes of them. My roommate and future mayor explained that field used to be a farm, and the homestead was formerly in that field. The daffodils outlasted the family that once lived there, and the abode where they resided. Despite the changing world all around, they just kept spreading, growing and blooming.
I can’t think of a better symbol for our 50th anniversary. Most of the original founders of our organization no longer walk this earth, but their legacy continues. Many of the funds set up have long outlasted their donors and continue to bloom, spread and grow — brightening our region with scholarships and grants to help others. The founders and donors who went before us may not be here physically, but “So fully does time recover it,” that their hopes, dreams and legacy remain.
I will think of them with each daffodil bloom I see in these beautiful green hills we call home.
Brian Fogle is the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.