Friday, June 11, 2010

The Daffodil Garden

Zach's grandmother forwarded me this email that I wanted to share. In summary, the story is about one woman named Gene Bauer who wanted to share something with those around her. She began The Daffodil Garden in Lake Arrowhead over 50 years ago (1958), and people have been visiting ever since. It is from the point of view of a woman who visited there with her daughter.

"It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

'Who did this?' I asked Carolyn.

'Just one woman,' Carolyn answered. 'She lives on the property. That's her home.' Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting 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 ONE BRAIN'. The third answer was 'BEGAN IN 1958'.

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. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary 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 35 or 40 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.

She was right. 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?'

Use the Daffodil Principle. 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 the kids go to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 pounds
Until you gain 10 pounds
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.

**Did you notice it makes the shape of a vase?? I noticed that when I copied it over. It's a vase for your daffodil. :)

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.

Don't be afraid that your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.

As a sidenote, this email really meant a lot to me. I wrote a policy for a lady on 5/27/10. She sat here in my office right in front of me, and we talked for a long time. She showed me pictures of her newborn great-granddaughter. I found out that the day after, on 5/28/10, the lady had passed away. It's crazy how fleeting life really is. We don't realize unless we're touched by something like this, even in some small way. Really take the time to think about it. Cherish every moment!! 

Wishing you a beautiful daffodil day!

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