The Calla Lily

Dr. Kimberly McDuffie, Principal of Leland Middle School

The Calla Lily is my favorite flower. Last spring, I bought myself a flower pot of purple Calla Lilies for Mother’s Day in remembrance of my mother. My mother was the first person who bought Calla Lilies for me and each time I saw one, it reminded me of her. I had seen Callas in a magazine as teenager and my mom remembered.

Mother’s Day weekend of 2021, a local grocery store had several purple Calla Lilies. I brought them home and placed them on my little fireplace. After a few days, I saw them begin to become richer in color and stood a little taller. I went out and purchased a large flower pot and soil, then replanted them, placing them on my front porch. They were absolutely gorgeous.

Each day, I would look over at them and thinking about my mom and how beautiful they were sitting on the porch next to my white rocking chair. As time went by through the summer, I saw them wilting and then die (at least I thought they had died). I never moved the big flower pot because I had plans to grow cucumbers in this pot the following Spring. But that didn’t happen…

In early May of this year, I began to pot plants, flowers, and a few vegetables when I remembered the big flower pot that was yet stationed on my front porch. I went over to pick it up and take it outdoors to throw away the old soil and to fill it up with new soil to plant my cucumbers. Then I noticed something… I saw tiny sprigs in the soil. I said to myself, this can’t be the Calla Lilies from last year! I pulled out my phone and opened my plant app. And yes! They were my Calla Lilies from the previous year! But I watched them die! Or did I? Not knowing that they were perennials (as I am not a horticulturist). I assumed that they had died when in fact, they were just resting up for the next season- to blossom and to be a reminder of my wonderful mom whom I miss after several years.

I learned a lesson that day. What if I had thrown away the soil in my flowerpot without taking time to look at small buds growing? What if I had ignored the small growing flower and planted cucumbers over them? I would not have had the opportunity to enjoy my favorite flower which brings back so many fond memories of my mother.

The moral of this story (to me) is sometimes we overlook the small things that are buried underneath the dirt. It is easy to pour the dirt out and start over for instant gratification. But sometimes what we already have is what we really need. From that day on, I have been watering those tiny buds, because I know within a few months, I will have beautiful Calla Lilies that I didn’t realize that I “still” had. This is the epitome of a diamond in the rough.

I encourage the Leland Middle School community, as we transition into new grade levels, new staff, new beginnings, etc. to take a look at what you already have. Sometimes you have to look closely to see what is growing beneath what you’ve planted. My Callas are all growing at different levels. I have one that is standing taller than the other; but I see growth in every single sprout.

Carl Parker, President of the Brunswick County Chapter of the NAACP and Veronica Carter present the NAACP award to Leland Middle School Principal, Dr. McDuffie for being a leader in promoting Journalism at Leland Middle School. Also shown are l to r: Ruth Thompson, Robin Barrington- LMS PTO, Eli Barrington, Gerald Decker, and Keiran Daniels (Dan Dodge)

Thank you, parents and guardians, for sending me the best that you have this school year. I have seen so many diamonds in the rough. Your kids are awesome and on their way into blooming into beautiful flowers that you have cultivated, instilled values, and guess what? They will blossom into something beautiful!

Blessings to my Leland Middle School Community!