The Daffodil Principle|
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.
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
"How far will we have to drive?"
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
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 ...
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.
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!
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
We walked up to the house and on the little patio we saw a
Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking
one at a time
by one woman
2 hands, 2 feet
very little brain
Began in 1958
There it was ... "The Daffodil
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.
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?"
Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards, Author