They are very pretty flowers, and this is where the basil grows its new seeds so that a wild basil plant could continue growing new basil the next year.
It also means that that particular stem will no longer produce the basil leaves that are used in so many recipes. If you want your basil plant to continue producing leaves for you to use, you have to prune it, regularly.
(by the way, these are not my pictures, but borrowed from other photobucket people)
The definition of pruning is:
prune 2 (prn)
I say all this as an introduction to what I have had to experience over this summer and I think into the school year. When I moved from 2nd grade to 4th grade, I also changed coordinators (makes sense, since they are only in charge of that grade level).
For the last 4 years, my coordinators (there were a few different ones in that time) were mostly laid back, and gave mostly broad lesson plans, with lots of room for personal interpretation. Our walls were our own choice, and sometimes specific lessons were a suggestion, not a direction.
My 4th grade coordinator is different. She is still very sweet, loving, caring and wants the best for us. But she was trained to have unity within the grade level, and interprets it to mean each assignment is the same in any classroom. Basically, she should be able to walk into any of our classrooms at a given time and see very little difference between them. Teaching style differs of course, but projects/crafts/assignments etc. should all be the same. With this, there are certain things that are going to be on the walls.
This is really hard for me, because I like to make changes and do things differently. Even within second grade, I frequently changed what I did from year to year, just to mix it up. I took it very hard learning how this next year is going to be... until I thought about my basil plant.
The basil flowers are beautiful, and they smell great. It is what the plant does naturally, and really cannot be considered a bad thing... unless you want the plant to continue growing.
If you want the plant to continue growing and producing, you have to cut off the tops. Applying this to my life, if I want to grow as a person, and as a Christian, some pruning is necessary. In this case, it is pruning my need to be different.
Like the flowers, its not a bad thing, and it is completely natural... but not the most useful thing for a plant that needs to keep growing.
I do want to keep growing, and while I was fortunate to have a coordinator previously that "allowed me to flower," this coordinator's forcing me to grow is ultimately going to make me a better person.
I do want to add that she is totally open to hearing my ideas... however instead of telling the grade level my ideas, and then doing what I want, it is a situation where I can give my suggestion and then either all of us will do it, or none will. Next year, as a more seasoned 4th grade teacher, I think I will be given more leeway... but perhaps not.
My point is... I am growing this year by not having the freedom I used to have, and I have found a place of acceptance with it.
To cut off or remove dead or living parts or branches of (a plant, for example) to improve shape or growth.
Two different things I want to point out on this definition- first that pruning doesn't mean just cutting off dead, unproductive parts of the plant. Like with the basil (and me) it can sometimes be removing good parts too. The second thing is the purpose of it. I truly believe that this situation in my life exists to help shape and grow me. If I didn't think that, I could easily get frustrated, want to quit/find other job, or just grumble and gripe over this change. But the comparison to pruning helps me because I feel like there is a purpose to it, its not randomly hacking at my life to make it worse, it is systematically taking away negative parts of my character, like my pride.
In addition, the Bible talks a lot about unity. It frequently talks about how great it is for Christians to be united, and how harmful it is to have arguments between each other. And I was reminded that nothing I might have done differently in my classroom really matters. If I did my craft instead of the 4th grade craft... would it make a different to them as an adult... no way! If my walls had a different project up, would they even remember next year? No. As long as I teach them effectively, they will learn. Whether its with my ideas or 4th grade ideas... they will get through this grade, and quite frankly, will remember some of it as adults... but probably not much lol. So... in the big picture, its much better to get along with the other 4th grade teachers, who I will hopefully get to be with for a few years, than it is for me to push through my own ideas and create disharmony within our grade level.
But I do ask that you keep me in prayer, as it is definitely not my natural inclination, and my peace might be harder to keep as the year goes on. :-)