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A photo of three students in the garden.

From the Gardener’s Desk

I have been met in the garden many times this first week back to school  with exclamations of “Wow everything is so green! How is that possible in the Houston summer?” I always respond, “I watered the garden and took care of it over the summer with the help of others.” This past summer, Ms. Zimmerman, a couple of families from the school and I cared for the garden. We would come in the evenings to water, weed and joyfully harvest. The garden is a never ending cycle of growth, harvest, and death. The garden, like our souls, is a constant project that always needs preparation and hard work.

I noticed many new insects visited our garden this summer, but I was left with an overwhelming sense of emptiness. We worked with the purpose of preserving the garden for our students. But the heart of the garden, the students themselves, were missing. They might have been missing from the school garden, but they were not missing from our hearts and minds. A teacher’s life is one of service, even in the summer. We are always preparing our minds and our souls for the new students. When I was first interviewed by Mrs. Gilbert, I remember her suggesting that I read books that our students will be reading, even if I was not teaching the class. She emphasized that we should be constantly learning and working on our own self improvement so that we can best serve our students. While Ms. Zimmerman and I were physically preparing the garden for the students, we were also preparing our souls to receive those that are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Finally, the students arrived and the garden came alive with the joy and curiosity of the students. Thank God, they have arrived!

“He called a child, whom he put among them and said, “”Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’” Matthew 18:2-5

 

A photo of three students in the garden, examining the plants growing thereA photo of the garden without studentsA photo of the garden pond and the plant beds around itA photo of the stumps students sit on in the garden.

A photo of four students in the garden.A photo of three students standing at the edge of the garden pond.