My grandmother called them surprise lilies. I’m not sure of their “real” name, and I’m not too inclined to find out. I like the idea of surprise lilies. Most lilies bloom when they are supposed to–in the spring. Surprise lilies don’t. The send up some green leaves in the spring, but no flowers at all. These leaves die off as summer begins leaving no trace of the plants. Then, around the end of July, surprise. Stalks appear overnight featuring beautiful pink blooms. When the full heat of summer seems most oppressive, these flowers are content to let their beauty shine.
As with anything on this blog, this natural phenomenon can be connected back to education. While many of our students bloom like the “regular” lilies–right when we expect them to, it is the students who bloom unexpectedly that can bring us the most joy. Some of our students don’t even bloom until they leave our classrooms. While it may not seem fair that others get to enjoy the beauty of their blooms, we can enjoy knowing that our patience and perseverance contributed to their blooming.
As we return to school this year, let’s be aware that surprise lilies will exist. Let’s not become frustrated when they aren’t blooming with their peers. Let’s await the surprise because it may be the best bloom of all.