~~ Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
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.
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!"
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.
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
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."
I said sternly, "please turn around."
"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You
will never forgive yourself if you miss this
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
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
We walked up to
the house. On the patio, we saw a poster:
to the Questions I Know You Are
One at a time, by one
woman. Two hands, two feet, and very
Began in 1958.
it was...."The Daffodil Principle."
For me, that moment was a life-changing
I thought of
this woman whom I had never met, who, more than
forty years before, had begun -- one bulb at a
time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to
an obscure mountain top. Still, just
planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had
changed the world. This unknown woman had
forever changed the world in which she
lived. She had created something of
ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty,
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!
me sad in a way," I admitted to
Carolyn. "What might I have
accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal
thirty-five or forty 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
daughter summed up the message of the day in her
usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she
said. 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?"
|We convince ourselves
that life will be better after we get
married, have a baby, then
another. Then we are frustrated that
the kids aren't old enough and we'll be
more content when they are. After that,
we're frustrated that we have teenagers
to deal with. We will certainly be
happy when they are out of that
stage. We tell ourselves that our
life will be complete when our spouse
gets his or her act together, when we get
a nicer car, when we are able to go on a
nice vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is
there's no better time to be happy than
right now. If not now, when? Your
life will always be filled with
challenges. It's best to admit this to
yourself and decide to be happy anyway.
Happiness is the way. So, treasure
every moment that you have and treasure
it more because you shared it with
someone special, special enough to spend
your time with... and remember that
time waits for no one.
Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until you die
is no better time than right now to be
happy. Happiness is a journey, not a
destination. So work like you don't need
money, love like you've never been hurt,
and dance like no one's watching.
you want to brighten someone's day, pass
this on to someone special....