The Daffodil Principle

The Daffodil Principle

THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE

  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.
  Next Tuesday 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!"  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 will we have  to drive?"  "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll
  drive. I'm used to  this."  
  After several 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."  "Carolyn," I said sternly,  "please turn around." 
  "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will  never forgive yourself if you  
  miss this experience."
  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
  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 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.  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 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 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 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, 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,
  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.
  "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 achieve!"
  My 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?"
  . . . . Author Unknown
 
  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.
  So,  stop waiting...
  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 summer
  Until  spring
  Until winter
  Until fall
  Until you  die
 
  There 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.
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