Volume - 7 : Issue - 2

Published : April - June 2008

Group : Think About It

Back to the List


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you -must come to 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 cad.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren,

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

"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this" ....

After about 20 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 with an arrow that read, 'Daffodil Garden.'

We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, 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 over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patters, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron and butter yellow, Each different-coloured variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn.

"Just one woman", Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting 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 one brain,’

The third answer was, 'Began in 1958.

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than 50 years ago had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop, Planting one bulb at a time year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived.

One step at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one oil the greatest principles of celebration.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn.. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 of 40 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 usual direct way. "Start tomorrow"' she said.

She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting....