Spring is here and all the daffodils have been picked over a two week period and placed in vases around the house, in the classroom, and at my desk. The smell is magnificent! It is especially noticeable in class when it counteracts the smell of students--yes, beloved students bring a distinct smell. The smell of ninth graders is more pungent and distinguishable than seniors. Harder to get rid of. Seniors tend to be impeccable in their hygiene and the smells they bring into the classroom tend to be Oriental noodle soup, hummus, Mexican salads, or scented lotion. Whether it's ninth or twelfth graders, each group notices the daffodils. They often ask if they're real; they express their delight; they ask where I got them.
"On my hillside," I respond.
"Can I come and see?" Eliza asked this week.
"Ah, they've all been picked."
My beloved daffodils.
This fall I vow to order 500 more and spend hours tramping up and down the sandy hill in my purple garden boots, planting more daffodils.
While sitting at my computer, I noticed that one daffodil, my favorite with the orange center, had bowed its head in weakness. I panicked that I might lose that one daffodil. I had previously tossed a few older daffodils into the garbage when they'd lost their brilliance, but no I thought, this one was fresh when I cut it. I stuck my fingers in the vase and saw from its short stem, it wasn't reaching the water. How could I have let it go without water? Instead of tossing it, I filled the vase and made sure the one daffodil could pull on all the water it needed.
For the one daffodil. Beloved. For the one student. Beloved.
It only needed to reach the water. He or she only needs to reach the water.
The window to enjoy the beloved daffodils is short; so is the window with this year's students. I've been reminded by one simple daffodil that not everyone is receiving nourishment. The Monday after spring break, I'll be looking carefully for who is not being nourished.