Gardening With Grace

 I have seriously been waiting for this sight for years and years.
My small iris patch in full bloom.

You see, irises grew handily in Wisconsin {or at least I'm pretty sure they did!}, but not so much in my back yard in Texas. We've got gumbo for soil and super hot sub-tropical temps, both of which I'm told bulbs don't care for, so I've had minimal success since I planted this experiment. Like one, two, maybe three flowers per season. Until now.

Sometimes life is like that, and we get a bumper crop.
Maybe it's your dream class.
Maybe it's a bonus or other recognition at work.
Maybe it's an answer to a long-standing prayer request.

And, unfortunately, this too must pass.
See the bloom in the center bottom? 
It's already shriveled up and died this morning. 
The brown foliage around it had already done its job and moved on.
 And soon even the buds will be just a memory.

My point? Life goes on and we must go with it.
We can either enjoy the blooms or worry about how quickly they'll be gone. Every day we get to choose.

And is there a classroom connection here? you might be asking.
Why yes, there is. 
I was blessed on Thursday with an invitation to sit in on a strategic planning committee meeting at a school down the road that's planting character seeds to bloom out their garden.
Amber, a second grade teacher with a green thumb, shared a wonderful strategy that she uses to fertilize morning meeting. 
Using a rose-bush metaphor, she carves out time every day to ask her kids to share a bud, a bloom, or a thorn in their lives. 
The bud is something coming up they're eagerly awaiting.
The bloom is something that just happened or is happening right now that they're excited about.
The thorn is a challenge that's got them worried, something they could use help with so it doesn't negatively impact them.
How great is that?

Not only do her students have permission to get real with one another, but they're encouraged to feel and to share. And she gets the benefit of drawing patterns as she gets to know her little learners more personally. Who are the children who always share thorns? What might they need from her? From each other? 
That's what I call gardening with grace.

And that's why I love the outreach part of my job.
I get to watch character educators
plant seeds, 
nurture growth,
cultivate and harvest.
It's all there, right before my eyes.
And it's a bountiful experience.

What's growing in your garden today?


  1. Your friends rose bush metaphor is brilliant!
    And your irises are very pretty--well done.

  2. I really love the bud, bloom, and thorn idea. Thank you for sharing.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First


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