This is interesting. In the past, if I ran across a story or blog on life, happiness, giving and receiving, I appreciated the thoughts but never took time to internalize them. “Ahhhh, that’s so sweet.” Or “Wow. That was powerful.” But it never hit home. Well it does now. With that, if it’s ok with you, I’d like to share a brief story I ran across entitled “The Daffodil Story”.
A woman’s daughter called her Mom over and over again inviting her to come see the daffodils “before they are over.”
So, the Mom finally set a time when she would get in her car and drive a few hours to visit her daughter and “see the daffodils.”
It ended up being a miserable drive as there was fog, clouds, cold, and rain. Nasty roads. But the Mom made it. Her daughter came running out of her little house along with the grandchildren. Hugs were shared by all and then the daughter announced they would all get in the car and go see the daffodils! Mom had had enough of driving for one day! She was not driving one more mile. No siree! Nope! Somehow the daughter got everyone into the car and she climbed behind the wheel and off they went. “Carolyn,” the Mom said sternly, “please turn around.”
Carolyn assured her Mom that she could handle the rain-soaked roads and continued driving. “It’s all right, Mom. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”
They turned onto a narrow gravel road and passed a small church along with a hand-painted sign that read, “Daffodil Garden”.
The car was parked. Carolyn and Mom each took the hands of the grandchildren and began walking along a path and turned a corner. Mom looked up and gasped! Before her lay the most glorious sight! Flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, deep oranges, whites, lemon yellows, salmon pink, butter yellow. There were 5 acres of flowers!
The Mom wanted to know who had done this? Who planted all of those breathtakingly radiant flowers? Carolyn said that one woman did all of the planting. She said the woman lived in poverty in a small modest A-frame house on the property, right in the midst of all that glory! So, they all walked up to the house.
On the wooden porch was a poster. It read, “Answers to the Questions I know you are Asking”. The first answer was a simple “50,000 bulbs”. The second answer was “one at a time, by 1 woman, 2 hands, 2 feet, and a very little brain”. The third answer was, “Began in 1958”.
There it was! The Daffodil Principle. This woman, 40 years ago, had begun planting one bulb at a time. She planted one bulb at a time to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure location. The planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. The unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. This unknown woman had created something of indescribable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
We can learn from the Daffodil Principle, that is learning to move toward our goals, desires–one step at a time, and learning to love the doing. When we multiply small pieces of time with tiny increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
The Mom broke the all-inspiring silence, “What could I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 years ago, or 40 years ago. What if I had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ during those years. Just think Carolyn! I might have been able to achieve something incredible.”
“Start tomorrow, Mom,” responded Carolyn. It’s so pointless to think of lost hours of yesterdays. Instead, ask how we can put this to use today? So…stop waiting…Until you get the new job; until you make that desirable income; until summer; until fall; until I find that someone special; until I loose 40 pounds.
Let us remember–happiness is not an effect; it is a cause. There is no better time than right now to be happy. Yep! Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Now, let’s all go out and smell the roses…or plant those daffodils!