My Saturday afternoon in the herbarium is usually spent in complete silence. It's my perfect study away from home. The three hours are dedicated to doodling and writing postcards to my big and little friends.
I have planned the series I am going to draw in the herbarium beforehand, but God has a surprise in store for me. I am sent to pick up more than fifty visitors from the animal museum. However, our tiny exhibit room can't accommodate so many people all at once, so I take the children to the outdoor gardens. It chances that I have prepared more than thirty pieces of blank paper today. It also chances that I carry two packs of colored pens with me. So each child is given a piece of paper and a colored pen to draw their favorite plant. Some kids finish the task within seconds. Fortunately, it chances that I have a stack of colored paper with me. They are invited to create collages, and I do see some brilliant ideas. Anyway, I try to keep them busy for half an hour, which is amazing since I wasn't even informed of their coming in advance.
After the crowds leave, there come some more visitors in small numbers. Half an hour before the closure, a seven-year-old girl lingers out of love for plants. She doesn't feel like going away until her mom asks me to give her a hug. I have been working in the herbarium for more than a year, but I have never got such a fantastic gift.
I am just a very tiny fern leaf. I don't even know how to spell the word "important," but my appearance in time turns some people's garden green for a second.