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Young Maya's admiration for Mrs. Flowers means that Maya carefully heeds Mrs. Flowers' words; had Maya not had a woman as gracious and intelligent as Mrs. Flowers to instruct her, she might have remained mute for years to come. Her childlike joy in the small, fine things of Mrs. Flowers' house is evident in the detailed description of the tea cookies, and her amazement at how neat and beautiful Mrs. Flowers' house is. Dwelling on these varied images shows how high Maya's regard for Mrs. Flowers is, and how much she treasures any sight or experience outside of her ordinary experience in Stamps.
Mrs. Flowers was Maya's mentor, and Maya carried her lessons into adulthood. Maya's memories of Mrs. Flowers are proof that mentors, teachers. and even neighbors can have a lasting impact on the lives of young people, even if their exposure to them is short lived. There isn't a day that goes by, in which we don't have the opportunity to make an impact on the life of another person. Sometimes, all it takes is a smile.