Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Amaryllis Report

During the winter months, my phone conversations with my parents inevitably included the "Amaryllis Report." Church news, road conditions and sewing projects paled in comparison to the ever changing, triumph of the amaryllis thicket in the window. It had no doubt started innocently enough with one bulb and when its exotic beauty created such pleasure another was gifted and another and another, year upon year until there bloomed a blaze of crimson and scarlet. I'm not sure when Amaryllis first reached for the pale winter light in my parents front room window, but I saw an old photo of my sister as an infant, gazing raptly at what was obviously a fine specimen, even in black and white. When my parents moved to the coast five years ago, I filled the back seat of my car with Amaryllis bulbs of various ages and pot sizes. My mother had been ready to leave them behind but they seemed such a part of their winter conversations that they felt like old friends. I bought a bulb for myself this year on sale, long after the recommended planting time and potted it up.
It showed its gratitude rather dazzlingly with ten huge blossoms. I found myself proudly reporting this to my sister on the phone, and thinking of adding another..........I read that the bulb can last for forty years. Hmmmmmmm. The old question of Nature versus nurture comes to mind. In this case it's a draw. In my family, we nurture nature, and we love reporting it to whoever will listen. And I just hope I outlive the flowers.

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