Thursday, January 06, 2011

Advent to Epiphany

Amaryllis were planted the first Sunday of Advent, and placed on our fireplace mantle along with a music box with Holy Family figurines atop. 
This year we would not have a Christmas tree (two baby kittens in the house, it was a carefully considered decision), instead we would enjoy cut greenery for scent and watch as the plants unfolded themselves to glorious full bloom.

The first two weeks there didn't seem like much to see happening in the shiny containers.
Then green nubs appeared.

The nubs lengthened daily.

One morning buds appeared!

I could see the rosy blush beneath the bud's sheaths.
We looked for hints that the buds would soon burst forth.

By Christmas Day one blossom had overcome its green wrapping.

What if the Christmas bud had been the final scene for our planting hopes?
It was a fine bud to be sure...

We celebrated The Baby.
We considered what it would have meant if The Baby in the Manger (or in Sukkah as I happen to believe...a word for which there is no English translation. I will let you do your own research on that.  Here's one writing to consider) was the final scene of the Christmas story.

The Twelve Days of Christmas gave us opportunity to consider the further unfolding of the Nativity story.
The horrific murdering of all the infant Jewish boys by Herod...
The Circumcision of Jesus
Anna and Simeon in the Temple
We thought about the conversations among the Shepherds after they came to see the Infant King.
How many people really knew what had happened in their midst?

More buds opened.
More parts of the story were considered over the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Today is Epiphany.  Some of the flowers are in full bloom.
Others are still opening...
A few are still hidden inside their green sheaths.

It has been weeks since the day the rough brown bulbs were buried in the potting soil.
My hope for flowers in winter has come to fruition, and I know there will be still more blooms to enjoy in the coming days.

Water and Light were all that was and is needed to make these flowers grow.

I think they have rewarded us well for our care.

(I will not add my meditative thoughts paralleling the flowers to the Liturgical season, or the Spreading of the Good News, or even the purpose of growth of the Christian soul.  I will say that watching the amaryllis grow between Advent to Epiphany was much more insightful for us than looking at our Christmas trees have ever been in the past.  Perhaps next year we will have both flowers and a tree.  Either way, this year's choice has been a good one for us.)


Lovella ♥ said...

I am remembering now again how my mom always planted an amaryllis each year. Each year she would give me news on the phone on how well they were coming along.

I looked at them this year. . .next year I will plant one. Remind me . . okay?

Sara said...

Beautiful, Jill. I did not know about this planting of amaryllis bulbs at Advent...but I do have four large pots full of them on my patio and when they bloom, probably in March, they will be twins to yours. All these from a single bulb given to me probably 20 years ago by someone who received it as a gift but didn't want it when Christmas was over!

ellen b. said...

That is so cool. What a wonderful thing to do.

myletterstoemily said...

how gorgeous! i planted two amaryllis,
also. one grew too fast and was not
nearly as extraordinary as yours. the
other is getting very close and has
extended the season for me.

Vicki said...

There's something almost reassuring about planting a bulb and watching it grow to bloom, isn't there? For some strange reason, I talked myself out of buying amaryllis bulbs this year, possibly because I knew I'd be gone for two weeks.

I appreciate you mentioning the twelve days of Christmas early on - it reminded me to continue pondering the events that followed the birth of Jesus. I enjoyed reading the article about the Sukkah, too...that's really very interesting, and definitely something worth pondering.

I have fond memories of the Christmas traditions I knew as a child and as a young mother, but my own personal thoughts and "ponderings" are continuing to evolve as I read and learn more about that First Christmas. Thanks so much for teaching me, and for providing the learning opportunities, over these past few years!

Sharon said...

Oh your amaryllis are just beautiful. So many blooms! I was disapointed that I only had 3 flowers but I will try again next yr. They are so fun and beautiful!
God bless your new yr.