Today was a day of noticing little changes. Things are changing constantly. Sometimes we are aware of it but most of the time those changes go right past us. We are so busy that we get caught up in the bigness around us and we miss the little things.
My noticing started early this morning when I went into school to finish testing a few first graders. These little folks are repeating a test they took in the fall on the computer. Today they marched in, sat down, found their name and logged themselves in. They, for the most part, read the questions and finished in a short period of time.
Last fall they were crazy when they sat down before the computer. They could not recognize their name, they clicked all over the screen even after slow and careful directions. They click right past the end of the test not knowing they were done.
Now one school year later they had changed. I had not seen it as they scurried down the halls each day but now sitting with them close I could see the difference. A year of growth and learning was visible in everything they did – the questions they asked, the way they raised their hands at the end of the test, the way they left the room and walked or skipped quietly back to class. Not all will past the test, not all have mastered the reading skills they need but all have learned so much else that is not seen unless you look closely.
I left there mid morning to return home to my garden. It was much like those 1st graders. So many of my plants had matured over the last year or so. They had changed and I had not noticed until I was up close and personal with them. There were plants that had dropped seeds last fall and now there were new seedling everywhere. Some had grown old and woody from years of growth. Those plants were sending up new shoots to take the place of the old wood.
The garden is maturing in its own way. Plants that were small each spring are now quite large or show the signs of becoming an even larger plant through out the summer. There are plants who are flowering for the first time, like the ground cover I put under the bushes last year. It was little bits of plants placed here and there. Now it covers the whole area and has beautiful yellow flowers on it. Growth!
Like our children the plants grow and mature at different rates. They flower and set seeds at different times. Each one has it’s own life cycle to follow. I have a tulip that I was so disappointed in. It was white – all white. I thought I had planted tulips that were white with lots of purple. I was so ready to complain and then I looked closer and watched over days. Each day as the tulips got older and matured there was more and more purple. I just needed to watch and give it more time.
Plants and children sometimes just need to be given time. They grow, mature and change. If we let them they will surprise us every time.
We just need to slow down and watch for it!