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.
(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.)