The first six weeks of the new school year have been a bit of a blur. Between the hecticness of my own children returning to school and another semester at Green Chimneys well underway, things have been moving at breakneck speed. Conferences, grant applications and professional opportunities all need time and devotion on top of the regular load of day-to-day commitments.
Despite the crazy schedule, I have to take pause and reflect on a beautiful moment that surprised me one day last week.
It happened to be raining, so our classes were meeting in the greenhouse. I was watching children gather their belongings and line up at the end of a class, when I saw one of my (new to) high school students approaching our door. Small, talkative, excited children were buzzing all around me and here comes this calm, tall, deep-voiced student. He easily made his way through the crowd and extended his arm towards me. He was holding a thick book. He told me it was a book about a woman who really loved plants and her experiences with them. He had read the book, really enjoyed it and wanted me to read the book, too.
So simple, yet so profound.
What had inspired this child to read this rather mature narration of a professor’s experience with the plant world? He had responded to it in some way and decided he wanted to share his experience with me. Me. Very touching and left me realizing our garden program has such an expansive ripple effect. His experience with this book was not in garden program, it was not a book recommended by his garden teacher.
This student consistently works hard in my class, though it wasn’t always that way. Two years ago when he began at Green Chimneys, he tested me, as I’m sure he tested other teachers. We had our moments, but I have watched him mature into a conscientious gentleman. And now he’s recommending garden-related reading to me. Pretty awesome.