For the past several weeks, I’ve had my eye on the large sunflower blooming in the Preschool 4s garden. I witnessed the early stages when the teacher painstakingly watered and protected the seedling from its natural predators. Once a small fence was installed, it began to grow rapidly. I could tell early on that it was going to be a beauty. Over time its huge leaves formed, and then the flower itself truly unfolded. Currently it resides over the garden, petals intact and the head full of seeds that will soon reach maturity. It’s one of the most beautiful examples of the life cycle. It’s also fitting that it happens at this time of year when both children and gardens come into full expression of their development for a school year.
Other forms of blooming are present as well. After nearly a full school year, friendships are reaching new depths. This week I overheard one of the preschool teachers saying to a student, “It’s okay to say you’re too young to get married.” Evidently, the two children had a wonderful time playing together earlier in the morning. They had such a good time that one child proposed to the other. What struck me was the smoothness with which the teacher swooped in with the suggestion for what the proposal recipient might say. Relief was all over the child’s face as her words were spoken. When I commented on her thoughtful and immediate response, she told me that marriage is a huge theme in PreK at this time of year. She’s had lots of practice in managing these relationships.
I’m always extra reflective as spring rolls around. I remember when I was graduating from high school, so eager to leave home for college and make my own life. I think about each crop of Seed alums who have come and gone from the school, to find their paths into the world. This time of year feels a lot like the giant sunflower currently blooming in the Preschool 4s garden. Even as the days are in full bloom, the seeds of tomorrow are forming. They are nourished not only by the surrounding elements, but also through words of wisdom passed along by a mindful teacher. It’s hard to predict when the advice to speak up for oneself in the form of “It’s okay to say you’re too young to…” will come in handy. We can only hope that all these lessons will carry our Seeds forward into meaningful, fulfilling lives.