Hurrah! Spring is attempting to arrive in Chicago!
I decided to share this story, when I saw how profusely my daffodils were in bloom today.
Brain Color Clues
I am an avid Blue Brain Gardener and this thought-provoking story is one of my favorites. It is rather long, but I promise, is worth your time.
Yellow Brainers will enjoy all the descriptive details in the story.
Blue Brainers will enjoy the story because they enjoy gardening and appreciate Mother Nature’s gifts.
Green Brainers will enjoy the logical sequence and lessons in the story.
Orange Brainers will enjoy the surprises in the story.
The Daffodil Principle and Story
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say. “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over. We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. From our vantage point at the top of the mountain we could see beyond us. In the mist, the crests of the San Bernardino mountain range like the dark, humped backs of a herd of elephants. Far below us the fog-shrouded valleys, hills, and flat-lands stretched away to the desert. On the far side of the church I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens and manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous, hand-lettered sign “Daffodil Garden.” We each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path as it wound through the trees. Then we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly, and completely splendid.
A Multitude of Daffodils
It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. 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 (I learned later that there were more than thirty-five varieties of daffodils in the vast display) was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.
A Path of Brilliant Colors
In the center of this incredible and dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple grape hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basin, weaving through the brilliant daffodils. A charming path wound throughout the garden. There were several resting stations, paved with stone and furnished with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of coral and carmine tulips.
The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day. Words, wonderful as they are, simply cannot describe the incredible beauty of that flower-bedecked mountain top. Five acres of flowers! (This too I discovered later when some of my questions were answered.)’
Who Planted the Daffodils?
“But who has done this?” I asked Carolyn. I was overflowing with gratitude that she brought me This was an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Who?” I asked again, almost speechless with wonder, “and how, and why, and when?” “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 glory.
Answers to Your Questions
We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. 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 very little brain.”
The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
A Woman Changes the World
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.
This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, 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.
“Carolyn,” I said that morning on the top of the mountain as we left the haven of daffodils, our minds and hearts still bathed and bemused by the splendors we had seen, “it’s as though that remarkable woman has needle-pointed the earth! Decorated it. Just think of it! She planted every single bulb, for more than thirty years. One bulb at a time! And that’s the only way this garden could be created. Every individual bulb had to be planted. There was no way of short-circuiting that process. Five acres of blooms. That magnificent cascade of hyacinth! All, just one bulb at a time.”
The thought of it filled my mind. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the implications of what I had seen. “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 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!”
Message of the Day
My wise daughter summed up the message of the day in her direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said with the same knowing smile she had worn for most of the morning. Oh, profound wisdom! It is pointless to think of the lost hours of 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 tomorrow?”
Closing Thought to Ponder
I trust you will be encouraged, as I was, to practice The Daffodil Principle and bring change, vision, beauty, joy, and peace into your life one bulb/idea at a time!
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