“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy
Good morning, dear friends. As you know, my ‘Sunday Thoughts’ are something I consider lovely for us to tuck away in our hearts. An image or thought we can draw from if our week becomes weary. My post today is a piece I read many years ago. To me, it is awe inspiring. I treasure it and hope you will too. (Be sure to read my notes at the end of this post.)
“One at a Time,” by Jaroldeen Edwards
It was a bleak, rainy day, and I had no desire to make the drive from the beach to the cold mountain at Lake Arrowhead where my daughter Carolyn lived.
A week earlier, she had called and insisted that I come see the daffodils some woman had planted at the top of the mountain. So, here I was, reluctantly making the two-hour journey.
By the time I saw how thick the fog was on the winding road toward the summit, it was too far to go back, so I inched my way up the perilous Rim of the World Highway to my daughter’s house.
“I am not driving another inch!” I announced. “I’ll stay and have lunch, but as soon as the fog lifts, I’m heading back down.”
“But I need you to drive me to the garage to pick up my car,” Carolyn said. “Can’t we at least do that?”
“How far is it?” I asked cautiously. “About three minutes,” she answered. “I’ll drive. I’m used to it.”
She grinned. “This is a detour.”
We were back on the mountain road, in fog like thick veils. Nothing could be worth this, I thought. But it was too late to turn back. We turned down a narrow track into a parking lot beside a little stone church. The fog was beginning to lift a little, and gray, watery sunshine was trying to peek through.
Carolyn got out of the car and I reluctantly followed. The path we followed was thick with old pine needles. Dark evergreens towered over us, and the mountain sloped sharply away to the right.
Gradually, the peace and silence of the place began to relax my mind. Just then, we turned a corner, and I gasped in amazement. From the top of the mountain, sloping down for several acres across folds and valleys, between the trees and bushes, following the terrain, were rivers of daffodils in radiant bloom. Every hue of the color yellow ~ from the palest ivory to the deepest lemon to the most vivid salmon-orange ~ blazed like a carpet before us.
It looked as though the sun had tipped over and spilled gold in rivulets down the mountainside. At the center of this wild color cascaded a waterfall of purple hyacinth. Throughout the garden were little meditation platforms graced with barrels of coral-colored tulips. And, as if this bonanza of color were not enough, over the heads of the daffodils Western bluebirds darted and frolicked, their magenta breasts and sapphire wings like a flutter of jewels.
A riot of questions filled my mind: Who created such beauty ~ such a magnificent garden? Why? Why here, in this out-of-the-way place? How?
As we approached the mountain home that stood in the center of the property, we saw a sign: Answers to the Questions I Know You are Asking.
The first answer was One Woman ~ Two Hands, Two Feet, and Very Little Brain. The second was One at a Time. The third, Started in 1958.
As we drove back home, I was silent. I was so moved by what we had seen I could scarcely speak. “She changed the world,” I finally said, “one bulb at a time. Just think. She started almost forty years ago. And the world is forever different and better because she did a little bit with consistent effort.”
The wonder of it would not let me go. “Imagine ~ if I had had a vision and had worked at it, just a little bit every day for all those lost years, what might I have accomplished by now?”
Carolyn looked at me sideways, smiling. “Start tomorrow,” she said. “Better yet, start today.”
“Flowers are love’s truest language.” ~ Park Benjamin
Wishing you and yours a day of joy and peace.
Every time you see a daffodil, I hope you will remember a lovely piece of inspiration tucked away in your heart.
“One at a Time,” is a true story. Ms. Edwards did not disclose the name of the woman who created this magnificent garden or the location. In 2004, Ms. Edwards wrote a book about her experience and it is titled The Daffodil Principle.
Jaroldeen “Jerry” Asplund Edwards (1932-2008) was born in Alberta Canada. She was a wife, mother of twelve, grandmother, and author of twelve books. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University and in 2002, she was also awarded the Distinguished Emeritus Alumni Award from BYU.