New Year, New Start….

Amaryllis in full flower

Open for business

Look at the size of this! Well, actually you can’t tell from this picture what size it is, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. From the top of it’s bulb to the tip of its’ highest petal it measures 40 inches, (or approx 102cm, for you youngsters)!!! When I received this ‘little’ beauty, a few days before Christmas, it was a tall, green stalk with small, creamy cocoons at the top. Since then, of course, these four, beautiful trumpets have appeared, announcing their arrival to the four compass points. All in all this a very impressive plant. It comes from South Africa, (although I think this one may only have South African heritage as the bus from here doesn’t go that far), which is probably why it flowers at this time of year and doesn’t mind the central heating as much as some other plants.
It has caused me to consider, not for the first time, the wonder of nature. An amaryllis bulb is fairly large, but at first sight you’d hardly guess that it holds within it, the potential to grow such a large stem and produce 4 beautiful flowers – yet all of this is already contained with the bulb. The flowers are amazing. Not just one colour, but cream, red with pink highlights and each petal is outlined in red.
So, at the beginning of new year, it seems appropriate to celebrate this rather beautiful, visual sermon. From little else but mud and a large ball of vegetable matter comes a pulchritudinous display that serves to brighten up a British winter.
You really cannot tell what beauty lies within a dull shell. Given the right conditions, even the most vapid container may surprise the world with its treasure.
This is true for human beings too. When people are loved, nurtured and encouraged they can surprise even themselves by the beauty of what they bring forth. May this year bring you all the love, nurturing and encouragement you need to reach your potential.

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