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'll come next
Tuesday," I promised (a little reluctantly) on her third
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy.
Still.... I had promised, and so I drove. When finally I 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's nothing in the world except
you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive
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 is the drive?"
"Just a few blocks," Carolyn
said. "I'll drive Mom. I'm used to this weather."
After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going?
This isn't the way to the car garage!"
"We're going to my garage the
long way," Carolyn grinned, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around."
"It's all right, Mother, I promise.
You'll never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After twenty minutes, we turned onto
a narrow gravel road and I saw a small country 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. I followed Carolyn down the path.
Then we turned a corner and I looked up and gasped.
Right 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. Altogether, there were
five acres of daffodils.
"But who has done this?"
I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn
answered. "She lives on the property and that's 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
On the patio we saw a large poster.
It read, "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking."
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 about this woman who I had never met.
More than forty years ago she had begun (one bulb at a time)
to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop.
This unknown woman had forever changed
the world in which she lived. She had created something of
indescribable 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. 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 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
My daughter summed up the message of
the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow,"
It's so pointless to think of the lost
hours of yesterday. The most desirable way to make learning
'a lesson of celebration' ... instead of a cause for regret....
is simply to ask, "How can I put this to use today?"
Author: Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards