Monday, April 27, 2009

Meaningful Monday



THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

"I will come next Tuesday, " I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren,

I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said," We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car.

"How far will we have to drive?"

"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around."

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden".

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns - great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.

"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "one at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was. The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top.

Just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one baby-step at a time - and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.
~ author Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards ~
I hope that you choose this day to start planting 'Your bulbs one at a time.' Until tomorrow, may you have a blessed Monday.

9 comments:

Lib said...

Hey Jo,
I've read this before ,but thanks for reminding me again!:o)If only we would make time to slow down and enjoy life more!
Hope you have a great wk.!
Blessins',Lib

PEA said...

Hello dear Jo:-)

Such a beautiful and heartwarming story written by that author. I remember reading it once before, a couple of years ago and how much I would love to be able to do what that woman did all those years ago:-) xoxo

farmlady said...

I would say...,"Start today" because tomarrow is tomorrow.

Kate said...

I loved this post it paints a beautiful picture - Thanks for posting it Jo... Hugs, Kate x.

Reva said...

I've heard this story before but this is the perfect time of year to hear it. It's spring and time to plant. I already have alot of flower and vegetable starts that I began by seed over a month ago and they are more than ready to transplant outside. I've just been waiting for the weather to warm up enough. Thanks for sharing.

Jess said...

Loved this.

Hope all is well and that you have a great week ahead.

Love, Jess

Juli said...

Jo :) I love the Daffodil principle.

I've been thinking about you for the last few days. I hope all is well and wonderful for you !

Mountain Mama said...

I also read it before but am glad to read it again. One bulb at a time and it's awesome how it turns out.

Kate said...

Hi Jo Just called to hear some good sense and home grown wisdom - How are you ? Are you OK ? It seems such a long time since we have heard from you.

My Sister passed away last week and I would like to say Thanks for your Prayers and Good Wishes you sent my way...

She slept away Jo - with no pain or upset and I have just finished clearing out her little flat - now I can fall apart at the seams - Thanks again Jo !

Much Love from this side of the pond to you and yours. Kate xxx.