The Daffodil principle
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.
“I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!”
My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, mother.”
“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her.
“I was hoping you’d take me over to the garage to pick up my car.”
“How far will we have to drive?”
“Just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive, I’m used to this.”
After several minutes, I had to ask, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!”
“We ‘re going to my garage the long way,” Carolyn smiled, “by way of the daffodils.”
“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.”
“It’s all right, mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”
After about 20 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 that read, “Daffodil Garden.”
We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and 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 down over the mountain peak and slopes. 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.
Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in nidst 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 35 years before, had begun—one bulb at a time—to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which shi lived. She had created something of ineffable 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 magenificent 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 thirty-five or forty 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.
By Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
The woman in the mirror
When I was 11, I found out I had a brain tumor(腦腫瘤). I had surgery to remove it, but the size and location of the tumor caused my optic nerve to atrophy. For three years afterward, I had partial sight, but my ophthalmologist told me that eventually I would go blind. At the end of my 14th year, doctors pronounced me legally blind and said there was nothing that could be done. I had a 5 percent chance of surviving the tumor, and I did, but somehow I could never deal with the fact that I was going blind. I tried to behave as if everything were just fine. When it happened, I was devastated.
My dad left us when I was 5, and I took that really hard. Because of that, and because I was blind on top of it, my greatest fear was that no one was ever going to love me, that I would never get married and have kids and a full life. I was afraid of being alone, and I guess that is what I thought blindness meant.
Ten years later, on Nov. 16 of last year, I was cooking dinner and leaned over to kiss my guide dog, Ami. I lost my balance and hit my head on the corner of my coffee table and then on the floor. It wasn’t unusual. When you are blind, you hit yourself all the time. I got up, finished making dinner and went to bed.
When I woke up, I could see. Light was coming through my window, and the curtains were drawn. Of course, I was shocked, but not scared, not like when I lost my sight. There is a big mirror in my bedroom, but I didn’t look at myself right away. I wanted to wash my hair and put on makeup first. I do not look good in the morning, and I didn’t want to be frightened. As I was showering, I caught my reflection . And just that left me speechless, really.
The last time I saw myself, I had short hair, a pale complexion(膚色) and features that didn’t show because I had such light eyebrows and eyelashes. I looked awful, like a teenage girl, I suppose. Now, all of a sudden, I realized that it was true what people told me, that I was an attractive woman. When I stood in front of the mirror, I reached to touch my face. That is what I had been doing for 10 years — it was how I understood — so it was a natural impulse. It was not until I saw myself that I realized how much my memory had faded of things I once could see. It was about four hours before I told anyone. I stayed with Ami. We looked at each other and played outside in the yard.
I just wanted to be alone, and take it in (讓…進入; 改小; 接受; 改短). It was so much.
The strange thing was that I knew it was going to happen. About a week before, I was walking Ami and suddenly saw blue dots in front of my left eye, the one I would regain my sight in. I told my mum because I found it funny; blue had been my favorite color and was the easiest color for me to see when I had partial sight. I took it as a sign.
People don’t treat me differently now. I was always completely independent. I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, in my own flat with my dog. I would have parties and go clubbing. I would listen to the beat of the music and go with it and hope for the best. When your friends grab you and point you in the other direction because they are actually over there, that is when you remember you’re blind.
I also loved movies. Going to the movies blind was like someone telling you a really good story with great sound effects, and you make up all the images in your head. I haven’t been back since I regained my sight. But I’ve been able to see my favorite soap, ”Shortland Street.” And my friends took out magazines and pointed out Pamela Lee Anderson and Brad Pitt. The biggest surprise was Brad Pitt. I just thought, What is everyone going on about? The best was seeing my boyfriend. He rode the ferry over, and I knew him the moment I saw him. He was as sexy as I had imagined.
I am not surprised that things are pretty much the same in my life. I didn’t expect anything more than what I have now. I worked very hard to surround myself with genuine people and to create a normal life for myself. I am still the same person. It just means that physically, perhaps, I can share more and put the two together: the feelings I had, with sight.
The same doctor who told me I would never see again told me I had regained 80 percent of the vision in my left eye. To be able to look him in the eye and tell him I could see again — honestly, that felt pretty damn good. He ran all the tests and made me read the eye chart, but he has no explanation. He said himself, and still says, that once the optic nerve is damaged, it cannot regenerate.
I don’t think the knock on the head had anything to do with it. If others want to believe that is how it happened, that is fine. But I consider this a miracle. There is no other way to describe it. Some things just cannot be explained. Of course, some people are skeptical . For me, it is precious. I try not to think about the possibility of going blind again. But my recovery would be no less (簡直) a miracle even if I lost my sight tomorrow.
Carrot ,Egg or Coffee
A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her ,She did not know she was going to make it and wantde to give up.She was tired of fighting and struggling .It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.
Her father ,a cook ,took her to the kitchen ,He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high frie .Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots,in the second he placed eggs, and in the last he placed ground coffee beans.He ler them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter sucked her teech and impatiently waited ,wondering what he was doing.In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners, He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl.Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a mug.Turning to her he asked,”Darling,what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs ,and coffee.”she repled.
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots ,She did and noted that they were soft .He then asked her to take an egg and break it ,After pulling off the shell ,she obsered the hard-boiled egg. Finally,he asked her to sip the coffee .She smiled ,as she tasted its rich aroma.
“What does it mean ,Father?”she humly asked .
He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water ,but each reacted differently,The carrot went in strong, hard ,and unrelenting ,But after being subjected to the boiling water ,it softened and weak. The egg had being fragile,
Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior.But after sitting through the boiling water ,its inside became hard ened ,The ground coffee beans were unique ,however ,After they were in the boiling water ,they had changed the water .
“Which are you?”he asked his daughter.
When adversity knocks on your door ,how do you respond?Are you a carrot ,an egg ,or a coffee bean?