In case you haven’t noticed, children do things adults don’t; for example, children run. They just run to run, not to go anywhere or for any reason, but just for the sheer pleasure of running. They will also pretend-play with just about any item they find. A stick becomes a Greek sword, a jacket is shaped to make a baby’s blanket, and sofa cushions become a fort.
About the time we wrap up the school year, my thoughts turn to my garden. My garden provides a quiet place for work and contemplation, and as is my wont, my musings rarely stray far from my life as a teacher. Cultivating in my students a love for learning and a desire to love God and neighbor is a lot like cultivating a garden.
Once while introducing an author who was confined to a wheelchair most of her life, I asked a group of students, “What would you do with your time if you had to spend every day of your life in a wheelchair?” Here are the top three answers: 1) play video games, 2) watch television, and 3) sleep. No one said “Read” until I prompted them. The option of reading was simply an after-thought.