The Daffodil PrincipleSeveral times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come tosee 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 reluctantly Idrove there. When I finally walked into Carolyns house I was welcomed by thejoyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted mygrandchildren."Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, andthere is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to seebadly enough to drive another inch!"My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother.""Well, you wont get me back on the road until it clears, and then Im heading forhome!" I assured her."But first were going to see the daffodils. Its just a few blocks," Carolynsaid. "Ill drive. Im used to this.""Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around.""Its all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss thisexperience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto asmall gravel road and I saw a small church.On the far side of the church, I saw a handlettered sign with an arrow that read," Daffodil Garden ." We got out of the car,each took a childs hand, and I followedCarolyn down the path. Then, as we turned acorner, I looked up and gasped. Before melay the most glorious sight.
It looked as though someone had takena great vat of gold and poured it overthe mountain and its surroundingslopes. The flowers were planted inmajestic, swirling patterns, greatribbons and swaths of deep orange,creamy white, lemon yellow, salmonpink, and saffron and butter yellow.Each different coloured variety wasplanted in large groups so that it swirledand flowed like its own river with itsown unique hue. There were five acresof flowers.
"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just onewoman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on theproperty. Thats her home." Carolyn pointedto a well-kept small A-frame house, modestlysitting in the midst of all that glory.We walked up to the house.On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers tothe Questions I Know You Are Asking", wasthe headline. The first answer was a simpleone. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The secondanswer was, "One at a time, by one woman.Two hands, two feet, and one brain." Thethird answer was, "Began in 1958."
For me, that moment was a life-changingexperience. I thought of this woman whom Ihad never met, who, almost fifty years before,had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring hervision of beauty and joy to an obscuremountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time,year after year, this unknown woman hadforever changed the world in which she lived.One day at a time, she had created somethingof extraordinary magnificence, beauty, andinspiration. The principle her daffodil gardentaught is one of the greatest principles ofcelebration.
That is, learning to move toward ourgoals and desires one step at a time,often just one baby step at a time andlearning to love the doing, learning touse the accumulation of time. When wemultiply tiny pieces of time with smallincrements of daily effort, we too willfind we can accomplish magnificentthings.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 ofa wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago andhad worked away at it one bulb at a time throughall those years? Just think what I might have beenable to achieve!"My daughter summed up the message of the day inher usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.She was right. Its so pointless to think of the losthours of yesterdays. The way to make learning, alesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret isonly to ask, "How can I put this to use today?"
Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....Until your car or home is paid offUntil you get a new car or homeUntil your kids leave the houseUntil you go back to schoolUntil you finish schoolUntil you clean the houseUntil you organize the garageUntil you clean off your deskUntil you lose 10 lbs.Until you gain 10 lbs.Until you get marriedUntil you get a divorceUntil you have kidsUntil the kids go to schoolUntil you retireUntil summerUntil springUntil winterUntil fallUntil you die...
There is no better time than right nowto be happy.Happiness is a journey, not adestination.So work like you dont need money.Love like youve never been hurt, and,Dance like no ones watching.
Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day!Dont be afraid that your life will end, beafraid that it will never begin.If you want to brighten someones day, passthis on to someone special.