For my classes, I always try to be the first one in the door and the last one out. I want the chance to settle myself, and all of my stuff, before students start to arrive. For Cultural Diversity, I usually get there about 30 minutes before class, and the students are closer to 5 minutes, so I have a nice window. I make sure the computer is set up, with my PowerPoint slides visible on the screen and sound working for any videos. I walk around the room, lining up tables that have shifted in the week since I was there. And move the one in the front to the side so that instead of a large “O”, I have a “U” shape with an entrance for me in the middle. It’s much easier to walk among the students using this cat-walk than trying to climb behind all of the chairs, bags, and power cords.
Last Monday I managed to get there even earlier than usual, which meant the promise of some reading before anyone arrived. With the recent time change the sun was still out. I walked across campus, listening to whatever random podcast had been on the top of the list. Our class meetings in a house that had been converted into a building with one classroom, a few offices, and a dark attic that I would need $100 to go into. As a former house, a former home, the front lawn is kept simple with bushes lined up against the building and basic grass covering the slope down to the sidewalk.
The largest bush is on the corner I pass to get into the side door for our classroom. I was almost past it when a rushing car from the street caught my attention. Turning toward the sound, my glance also caught one flower in full bloom on the bush. There were a few small buds around, but otherwise the bush was only leaves. Leaves and this one full blossom.
Dropping my stuff inside, I returned to the sunshine and this little mystery. What this flower the only one because all the others, those in easier view, had already been pulled off? Or was it the first bloom, despite its low spot with shadows and dirt? Was it a survivor or a trailblazer? Either way, it was a treasure that I only noticed because of some chaos in the world. Some too-hurried driver let me see a piece of creation with absolutely no concept of time, stress, anger, or any other wicked thing.
May we be survivors. May we be trailblazers. And may we be hidden gems to be discovered in a too-much world.