Apr 12, 2009

Make Your Day Monday: The Daffodil Principle

The Daffodil Principle
by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Several times my daughter, Julie, had telephoned to say, "Mom, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from my place by the beach to her lakeside mountain home.

"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. The next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I got in the car and began the long, tedious drive.

When I finally walked into Julie's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Julie! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and the children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly, "We drive in this all the time, Mom."

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

"Gee, Mom, I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car," Julie said with a forlorn look in her eyes.

"How far will we have to drive?"

Smiling she answered, "Just a few blocks, I'll drive ... I'm used to this."

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

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

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

"It's all right, Mom, 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 ...





Daffodil Garden




We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Julie down the path. As 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.

Five acres of the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen! "Who planted all these?" I asked Julie.

"It's just one woman," Julie answered, "She lives on the property. That's her home," and she 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 and on the little patio we saw a poster ...




Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking
50,000 bulbs
one at a time
by one woman
2 hands, 2 feet
and very little brain
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.

Still, This unknown, old woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of magnificent beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration:






learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time,
(often just one baby-step at a time)

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 Julie, "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, Mom," she said, "It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of our yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask ... "

"How can I put this to use today?"








***Thank you to my mom for sharing this with me. =)

12 comments:

L2L said...

Thanks for the reminder, sometime focus needs to be regained in the wonderful, exhausting, often thankless job we do as mom's in raising our children. I needed this today, thanks tara

Jenkins said...

That is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

Just this afternoon my boys came running in from outside declaring that they had some daffodils for me. It was really a bunch of dandelions and it loved it just the same.

Amanda said...

I love this story and try to always keep it in mind in all things.

Danyele Easterhaus said...

fantastic...and i love that it was just one at a time. isn't that how life really is? changing or planting seeds one at a time!

Nana said...

Great story, Most the time it is just baby steps for me.

MuseSwings said...

Amazing! Love the story.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ann

http://externallaptop.net

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ann

http://externallaptop.net

Mandy said...

Tara this was a beautiful story!! Oh how I needed it today!! Sometimes raising kids who struggle every day you wonder if you are doing any good at all. Then you read something like this and you realize that you are even if it is small!!
Thank you for sharing this!! It was very inspiring and I am going to continue one step at a time!

Becky said...

beautiful story. i've heard this before but it is such a great reminder! love the flowers even more!!! :)

Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential said...

So beautiful, with so little, we can do so much. Thank you.

The High Family said...

What a beautiful story!

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