Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tidying Up the Amaryllis

Amaryllis - my photo
The Amaryllis was a February gift.  A box of promise.  I didn’t know what to do with it, so I left it in the box until mid March.  My friends encouraged me to open the box, water the bulb, see what would happen; so I did - not expecting much.  I am no green-thumb.

But it grew!  Bright green shoots broke through the dry brown bulb.  Day after day they looked the same - yet, imperceptibly - they lengthened.

They shot straight up, higher and higher, until I had to move them from the kitchen windowsill to the dining room table. They needed the space.  One day in April, there were buds!

Early one morning, when I glanced in to check, three triumphant scarlet trumpets resounded bright and clear from the tall green stalks on my dining room table. Brilliant!  Brilliant!  I exulted, I resounded.

A few more days and another explosion of scarlet from the next stalk… and the third.  Glorious! I photographed them, I beheld them, I was thankful.

They lasted quite a while, lending their bright beauty to the house. Guests complimented them.  I enjoyed them.  But - at last - they began to fade.  Starting with the first blooms, one by one, they shrank and shriveled, until all that was left were the bright green spears in the earthen pot.  Prosaic green life.  Taking up too much space on my table.

Company was coming, I needed room, and it was too early to plant the bulb outside.  In a hurry, I decided to simply cut away all the stalks and leaves.  I hid the bulb away in the basement, hoping it would go dormant and, perhaps, come back next year.  I tidied it up.  

Later, I decided to read about the Amaryllis.  Turns out, the Amaryllis bulb needs the decaying stems and leaves to give it the energy to bloom again.  What I considered unsightly mess, was nourishment for future growth!

I am keeping that bulb, whether or not it blooms again. It is an icon.


May 4, 2016