I transplanted them in a curvy little row some months back, seven amaryllis bulbs plunked into the ground, with high hopes for their survival. Most were given to me by a generous, long-time friend over a period of several years. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been watching the shiny leaves, robust stalks, and hints of bulbs—thin like blades—rise from the ground. This morning I see the blades have grown round and fat, blooms close to bursting. This one catches a touch of morning light peeping through the trees.
This evening, after a busy day, tending to this and that—business in the world outside my haven—I am in a mind of dreams, wondering about the ones long-held by me. I still reach toward them at this ripe age of sixty-six, groping to find my way in a world with a seemingly endless string of obstacles and practical demands.
Then I look outside and see my sturdy, homemade shed, the fence I’ve built ‘round my garden, and the snow peas boasting light pink blooms. I see the newly cleared field beyond and know that I am, plant by plant, beam by beam, creating something I’ve envisioned for years.
Tomorrow I’ll visit those amaryllis blooms, but I shall confess something here and now. The truth is this: I love the buds, and adore the tightly wrapped petals—yes, I’ll say it—even more than the open blossoms. Perhaps I prefer the dream, utterly perfect and unrealized. Perhaps I hold myself in budded form, afraid to face the fullness of the bloom and its eventual demise.
So, now it’s out, the cat from the bag, the bloom of my fear revealed. Knowing this, I’ll continue on, plant by plant, beam by beam, and risk the imperfect bloom, the harsh weather, the eventual dying of the gorgeous flesh. No more than I can halt the opening of those fat blooms can I halt the force of my desires, the fat blade of my dreams.