And isn't this the way many of us face life? What takes down one person, is just another obstacle to hurdle for another. Some of us just bloom anyway.
Kansas educators have taken some real gut punches in the last few weeks as politics reared its ugly head in the legislature. There were some wins for kids and teachers alike, but they came with a price. But when it was all said and done (and really it's still not done), teachers went to school and taught their students, coaxing them to bloom, just like the do every day. Political battles may take their toll, but we still are able to experience the true beauty of teaching and learning. It would be nice to make more money, have general support from the public, and have tenure to protect us from undeserving criticism, but no matter what, we are educators first and we will find a way to bloom anyway.
As a teacher, I saw many students over the years demonstrate their ability to persevere and stand tall despite the odds stacked against them. There is no greater joy for a teacher than to see a smile spread across a child's face when they finally get something that has been difficult to understand; or when hard work pays off for an athlete so they are able to feel the joy of a personal best and perhaps earn a medal too. Some kids give up easily while others dig down deep and find a way to bloom. Maybe they weren't as smart or talented as their peers; maybe no one supported them like they should have, but somehow, some way, they found a way to bloom anyway.
I see this same thing happening right now with people that I know. Some are fighting cancer. Some are dusting themselves off from a failed relationship, loss of a job, or other disappointment. Some just can't figure out why today, of all days, that tire went flat on their way to work. But I see their determination to emerge from these pitfalls and sometimes tragic events. I see them find ways to bloom amid frustration and bad news. I see them deepen their faith and offer comfort to others, whose plight might be just as dire as their own. We win when we choose to stand strong and bloom anyway despite overwhelming odds.
It is the resiliency of the tulips and daffodils that inspire us during their fight to give us a burst of color as we emerge from the grays of winter. It's easy to bloom during those springs when temperatures are warm and rains fall generously. It is in those times of personal challenge, when others may have said it couldn't be done or stood in our way, that makes us appreciate our efforts to stand strong and bloom anyway.