Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What am I planting?

A dear friend  who I haven't heard from in a very long time, got a hold of me yesterday through email. What a joy it was to hear how she and her family are all doing. She had just found out about my cancer returning and was sending me well wishes. She also started reading my blog and sent me this story because she felt it would fit with all the other uplifting things that I try to add to my blog.

Today I did ok physically, still tired but not quite as bad as I have been and that is good. My skin looks even better but itching like crazy, not very lady like to itch like this but ....that is why I don't go out in public. :) I know the itching is a good sign and I would much rather itch than hurt, so I will try to keep it in perspective. I remember years ago when I lived in Colorado with my Brother's family one winter;I broke my ankle. After weeks in a cast and it began to heal I was going crazy with a terrible itch on my foot and I couldn't reach it because of my cast. I tried sticking anything down there to scratch it, the worse was a butter knife, but it worked like a charm. Well, until it got stuck in there, that was embarrassing. I will stay away from the cutlery and just try to gently rub so I don't hurt anything.

I hope you enjoy this story, tonight I am a bit on the sad side, probably just looking to far into the future, just need to remember to take it one day at a time. Thanks for your love and support.


                          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.

When I 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 eyes.

"How far will we have to drive?"

Smiling she 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 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 ... Daffodil Garden

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.

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.

Five acres of the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen!

"Who 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 that glory.

We walked up to the house and on the little patio we saw a poster ...

Answers to the Questions
I Know You Are Asking

50,000 bulbs
one at a time
by one woman
2 hands, 2 feet
and very little brain
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 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.

"It makes 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?"

Author - Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards


Carolyn Cox said...

Wow, that is quite an inspiring story. Thank you for posting it. I am so glad to hear that you aren't going to use any knives to calm the itching!

We should talk soon,

Julie N. said...

I love that story. Jessica's RS recently used it as the theme for one of their activities. It sounded wonderful :-)