Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Field of Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
........... William Wordsworth

I remember in the early summer of 1981, I was in Pennsylvania on an official visit and my friend, Nancy, in the business I was visiting had been telling me about a field of flowers that I must see. As I was on a short visit of two weeks I could not find time till the day before I had to leave for the west coast. It was a short drive of about 30 miles and as we neared the village and drove around the little chapel a field of beautiful Daffodils spread out as far as eye could see. In the middle of the field was a small house. A frail old lady was standing in the patio. I was introduced as a friend from India and I could see a vacant look on the poor woman’s face as she probably had not travelled beyond her village and was oblivious of difference between an Indian from India or an American Indian, the original settlers of America. Nancy told me that the field belonged to this old lady and that she had planted all the Daffodils. In my curiosity I asked her how long she took to complete this task. The answer just blew my mind. She said that it had taken her 35 years to complete this work and she plans to add few more bulbs next season.

The filed was very geometrically laid out and the painstaking work that had gone into this exercise was very visible. One step 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.

I thought about this event a few years ago and told this experience to a business audience in Singapore when I was delivering the keynote address in a conference on 'Motivation during recession' (remember that 1997 saw one of the worst economic melt down in Asia).
I told the audience that it is nouse thinking “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!” but instaed “Start tomorrow”.
Today in “Times of India” newspaper there was a research finding that it takes for any one 10,000 hours to become a genius in any field of study. This goes to prove the old saying “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”

Love to you all

1 comment :