The story “The Daffodil Garden” begins with a mother and daughter taking a drive to see the daffodil garden. It continues as follows:
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 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 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 40 years before, had begun one bulb at a time to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Just planting one bulb at a time, year after yearf, she had changed the world. She had created something of indescribable magnificance, beauty, ansd 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 and learning to love the doing; learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time by small increments of daily effort, we, too, will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.