I read this letter several years ago and it reminds me that this is a perfect time of year with the busy-ness of the holidays, to be grateful and take the time to celebrate those around us. And it only requires one step at a time for each of us to change the world in our own way, with our own gifts and talents.
“Several times my daughter had called to say, “You must come to see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive and it seemed so far to drive just to see flowers. “I finally agreed reluctantly to go with her.
When we arrived, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, 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 its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and 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.” 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.”
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.
Ask yourself, where could you start, just one step? And maybe just maybe it will change the world around you.
2011 Massachusetts Conference for Women speaker Wendy Capland, MCC is CEO, Vision Quest Consulting and creator of The Magic Parties.