Our Lilies

Written by Alyssa Pask


Lily is invited to Ellie’s cabin and she is very excited. They immediately go to the lake and Lily discovers what a water lily is. Ellie explains to Lily the wonders to the water lily. They both take a moment to appreciate Earth’s creation of the water lily.

Keywords: water lilies, Earth’s gift, fascination, cabin trip

I start packing my shirts, shorts, sunglasses, swimsuit, and all my other necessities. Ellie invited me to join her and her family this weekend at their cabin. I am very excited since I have never been to a cabin before! I’m able to fit everything in my favorite backpack with my name embroidered on it, “Lily.” I grab my backpack and run down the stairs after hearing a car horn; it must be Ellie’s family here to pick me up! I run up to my mom and give her the biggest hug before leaving. My mom says, “Have a great time, dear! I can’t wait to hear all about it!”

I say back, “I will miss you so much, I can’t wait to tell you all about it!”

I hop in the car and excitedly wave and say hello to Ellie and her family. We sing songs and play over ten rounds of tic-tac-toe on the two-hour drive to her cabin. Her dad slowly rolls up to a fully-wood exterior house with pine trees surrounding every inch. I grab my backpack and follow Ellie inside. “We get the bunk beds! I’ll sleep on the top bunk and you can have the bottom bunk,” Ellie says.

I set my backpack down and we change into our swimsuits right away. Ellie and I run outside, and we grab life jackets that fit us perfectly. Ellie walks over to an inflatable boat and says, “Let’s grab this boat together and go out on the lake. There’s some cool flowers I want to show you!”

I excitedly grab the inflatable boat with Ellie, and we skip all the way down the hill to the shore of the lake. It is such a beautiful day with the sky filled with spots of small clouds. I can feel the sun on my skin and the mild humidity from the summer day. We prop the boat up on the shore and both get in. After we find comfortable spots in the boat, we grab the ores and start paddling over to the flowers Ellie was talking about.

Ellie says, “These flowers are called water lilies! They have the same name as you! Aren’t they beautiful?”

I look at the lilies in awe, there’s a variety of both white and pink lilies with lily pads surrounding each flower. “They are so pretty! I have never seen one of these before. I can’t believe I have the same name as this beautiful flower!”

The flowers surround us as we paddle in the middle of the field of all the flowers. The area ranges from some lilies that haven’t bloomed, and others are in full bloom. Ellie says, “My parents say the flowers are both underwater and above. For it to live, the roots stay in the water and the leaves give it oxygen from up here to keep it alive.”

As Ellie is telling me the amazing facts and life of water lilies, I move closer to a water lily close by the boat I am seated in. I lean over the boat to smell the water lily and lean a bit too far over and fall out of the boat. As I submerge into the lake, I panic, but then remember I have a lifejacket on. I come up to the surface and see Ellie with a horrific look on her face.

“What happened?! Are you alright Lily?”

I begin to grin and laugh saying, “Yes! I am okay Ellie. I just wanted to smell the beautiful flower!”

We both begin laughing and Ellie does a cannonball into the water to join me. We are close to the shore, so we can walk around the water lilies and lily pads on our tip toes. We both plug our noses and open our eyes underwater to see the beautiful roots and ways the lilies stay connected within the water. As we both float back to the surface, bobbing in our life jackets, I take a whiff of smell from the lily, but only smell lake water and a hint of lemon.

We both jump back into the boat and lay on the floor of it. I look above at the light blue sky above me and I watch the small clouds sway by. We let the soothing waves move our boat back to shore as we both are in awe from the magic and wonder that water lilies bring to the water.

The lilies Ellie showed me are our water lilies now. They’re the Earth’s lilies. They’re all our lilies. They are my lilies as much as they are yours. 


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Humanizing Science through STEAM Challenges Copyright © 2021 by E.J. Bahng and John M. Hauptman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.