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The Reading Room
Positively Karen
2014 May
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
The Wind
It seems, to me, that the wind has come running
across this land continually the past four months.
In the darkness of the great night it wanders
upon our front porch to stir the chimes. A wind
song, of sorts, commences.
I am remembering another similar Winter/Spring
on the northeastern plains of Colorado. We were
living in the country 18 miles from Akron, where
I was employed. We enjoyed all that country had
to offer. The color crayon sunsets were magnifi-
cent. The Pawnee National Grasslands shared its
wildlife with us. There were many deer, antelope,
Golden Eagles, and even a badger that resided
under the cattle guard at the end of our driveway.
Early one morning on the way to work I stopped
to watch a pair of wolves near our house. One ap-
peared to be standing watch while the other was
hunting in the green grasses. An awesome experi-
ence, it was one that will stay with me always.
The wind blew night and day that Winter/Spring,
roaring, at times, on its journey going to and
fro across the plains. However, occasionally, a
strange wind woke us as it passed by our bed-
room window. It wailed, voices screamed out,
it wept. Burrowing deeper under the quilts, as
chills traveled through our bodies, we pretended
it was just the way the wind sounded blowing
crossways of the window screens.
One blue denim day in early March, we decided
to visit Summit Springs, just a mile, as the crow
flies, from the house. Donning hiking boots, coats
and hats, my husband and I escaped into the
sunshine. Summit Springs is situated in a little
valley near a small stream called White Butte
Creek. July 11, 1886 saw a village of 165 Chey-
enne Lodges camped there. Tall Bull was the dog
soldier in charge. Believing they were safely hid-
den the camp was at rest when General Eugene
Carr and Cavalry, with Buffalo Bill as their scout,
launched a surprise attrack. Fifty-two Indians
died there that day. Seventeen women and chil-
dren were captured. Some Cheyenne escaped due
to the swift thinking and actions of a 15 year old
boy who was herding the camp¡¯s horses. When
he saw General Carr¡¯s group coming, he jumped
on his horse, gathered the herd and ran them
through the camp to alert his people. He stayed
and fought, he was one of the fifty-two killed.
Hiking to the top of the hill, we walked down
to follow the wash where many Cheyenne fled
that fateful day, hoping to hide; all to no avail.
Our day was quiet, the silence broken only by
a little bird singing in a leafless berry bush, and
a crow calling overhead. Picking up a smooth
stone I carried it with me turning it over and over
in my hand. On the flats, where we had parked,
is a monument that reads, in part ¡°Monument
erected by concerned members of both the Red
and White races in the Moon of the Black Cher-
ries, August 1970¡±. The little leafless bush nearby
had bits of faded strips of cloth, bone and other
object tied to its branches. I laid the stone I¡¯d been
Treasures From The Inbox
we going? This isn¡¯t
the way!¡±
¡°We¡¯re going the long
way,¡± Carolyn smiled,
¡°by way of the daf-
¡°Carolyn,¡± I said
sternly, ¡°please turn
¡°It¡¯s all right, Mother,
I promise. You will
never forgive yourself
if you miss this.¡±
Soon, 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 said, ¡°Daffodil
We got out of the car and 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 slopes. Five acres of
flowers, planted in majestic, swirling patterns of
deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink,
saffron, and butter yellow that flowed like a river.
¡°But who has done this?¡± I asked Carolyn.
Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house 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.¡± The third answer was, ¡°Began in
1958.¡± There it was, The Daffodil Principle.
That moment was a life-changing experience.
This woman, planting one bulb at a time, year
after year, had created a mountain of beauty.
The principle of her daffodil garden is to move
toward our goals and desires one step at a time,
and learn to love the doing. When we multiply
tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily
effort, we too will find we can accomplish mag-
nificent things. We can change our world.
If you get email, you get
stuff. Sometimes it is
spam, sometimes it is a
true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
The Daffodil Principle
Several times my daughter had telephoned to
say, ¡°Mother, you must come see the daffodils
before they¡¯re over.¡± It was a two-hour drive but I
relented. ¡°I will come next Tuesday,¡° I promised.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had
promised, so I drove there. When I finally walked
into Carolyn¡¯s house and hugged and greeted my
grandchildren, I said, ¡°Forget the daffodils, Caro-
lyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog!¡±
My daughter smiled calmly and said, ¡°We drive
in this all the time, Mother. You can at least 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 weather.¡±
After several minutes, I had to ask, ¡°Where are
carrying with other stones already encir-
cling the concrete base of the monument.
Quietly we walked to the truck leaving
only our footprints intermingled with
those of the deer and coyote. As I turned
for one last look, I could still hear the
small bird singing in the distance. For a
moment I could hear chanting, the rattle
of gourds and caught the scent of wood
smoke on the breeze as it passed by me.
And finally, I understood the strange
weeping wind.
I circle around
the boundaries of earth
wearing long wing feathers
I fly. -K
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life from
Gateway, Colorado)