Beginner's Heart

the author's

the author’s

I never intended to know a boatload about amaryllis. Nor did I anticipate I would become a refugee camp for them: taking them in after holidays, nurturing them to health, then finding homes for them. Even w/ all the many I’ve given, I still have one HUGE pot of several mixed together, and a only-slightly-smaller one with 2 in it.

Here you see the remnants of the scarlet, which began blooming in February (and is still flowering its blood-red heart out!), and the soft pink striped, which is one of my favourites. The red are perfect when they come around Valentine’s Day — exuberant and insistent that life continues. The pink remind me that life isn’t always exuberant, but it’s always beautiful.

My amaryllis have even set seed. They’re that happy. 🙂 I planted several of the seeds around the perimeter of the biggest pot, and they’re growing! It was probably about 3+ years ago when I slipped them beneath the natural mulch made of old leaves, and the pecan hulls I cover most of my potted plants with. Who even knew potted amaryllis could set seed? (Apparently most folks work at it.)

amaryllis seedlings

They won’t blossom for a few more years, the experts say. But then, who knows? The experts didn’t think I could just tuck them into the dirt and get these hearty small plants, probably, either.

When the first seedpods that bore seed appeared, I was almost certainly out of town, or I would have cut them when I deadheaded the amaryllis. But once I saw the seed pods, it was unmistakeable that they held maturing seed. They look as pregnant as someone having quintuplets!

the author's

the author’s

So here’s my point, and yes, it does have to do w/ beginner’s heart. 😉 You lay down good foundations: taking good care of the plants (or skills, or traits, or practices…) that you have. You just keep doing it, not realising you’re laying down a foundation. And then the serendipity comes in: something new happens, and you really look at it. It may indeed be ‘luck,’ but if you aren’t paying attention? You won’t notice it. And if you haven’t laid down strong foundations? It can’t happen.

Habits become foundations. I don’t forget to water or feed my plants, partly because I love them (yup, I do), partly because I’m responsible for them.  And that’s day after day after week after month after years of habits. A foundation, in other words, of good plant husbandry.

I’m trying to lay down a similarly strong foundation in so much harder areas: not yelling at the newest bone-headed thing my state does. Not forgetting to breathe when I hear of tragedy brought on by hate. Meditating, writing more… The list of habits I would like to become foundational is long!

Still, when the amaryllis bloom just when I need them most? In the midst of a dreary grey day, when my beloved is struggling? It’s the unforeseen fruit of that foundation. Unanticipated as I watered the withering stalks, and all the more precious.