As I approach the last few weeks of school, things can get pretty hectic. To-Do lists get longer, patience can often get shorter. To counteract some of this stress I try to walk each day around a bucolic farm near my home. It becomes somewhat meditative to be surrounded by lambs, calves, chickens and flowering fields. It was during a walk this week that I decided to stop and look more closely.
I plucked a buttercup from a field of millions and inspected its form with a more discerning eye. I remember once studying the parts of a flower: the pistil, stamen, petals (and more). I recalled it’s taxonomic name: Ranunculus repens I decided to examine each part to appreciate its unique design.
It was perfect. It was beautiful.
As I lifted my eyes from that one flower to the enormous field of buttercups before me, they all seemed even more exquisite in that moment. I had a deeper appreciation for the complexity and aesthetic qualities of those flowers surrounding me. Each individual flower contributed to the extraordinary vision of that pasture.
That epiphany stayed with me as I buzzed from classroom to classroom the next day. Each of those children was themselves a beautiful blossom. I found myself focusing in on one boy or girl in each class and really being present with their distinct and idiosyncratic actions, responses, and work. Not that I didn’t notice the rest, but I knew that by appreciating one more closely, I could appreciate them all more deeply.
As I finish up this school year, I want to take that insight with me-especially the more frazzled I feel. It will remind me WHY I am here. It will comfort me when I feel like I can’t get it all done. It will prompt me to stay present and attuned to what is before me.
I hope that you all find opportunities to look closely to appreciate more deeply. May you all find your own Buttercup Enlightenment!
What’s On My Book Radar?
Though I realize there are MANY purposes for reading, and enjoyment is but one of them, I am not happy that that purpose has taken a back seat to more study-driven reading. I take my National Boards exam this next week and have been immersed in reading through the standards, position papers, research, and rubrics. I will be so excited Thursday night to be finished with this component of my NBPT quest, that I will probably hit the nearest bookstore on my way home and celebrate with purchase of summer reading TBRs!!
2 thoughts on “Lessons from a Buttercup”
You found the perfect flower! I love the way you connected it to your students. It’s funny how we notice the beauty when we take the time to step back and reflect. As far as summer reading goes, I recommend ECHO by Pam Munoz-Ryan. It would be a great book to share with your students in the fall.
Thanks Amy! Love the book suggestion!