This is my Amaryllis flower. I have been studying her for weeks now, watching her move both gracefully and awkwardly through her growth cycle. I have seen myself in her in many ways.
My Dad, an avid gardener and soft-hearted teddy bear of a man, sent me this bulb several weeks ago. He and my Mom often send packages to my house with goodies for my kids, and sometimes there's a special something for me as well. This time I was excited to see the bulb that was included for me, and I immediately started thinking about all that was potentially slumbering inside, waiting to be born.
Hang with me as I walk you through the stages of growth and transformation of my bulb, and notice whether you recognize these stages and their application in your own life. For me, each step in the growth process of this Amaryllis reflected stages of development and transformation I have known intimately throughout my own life, and had the honor of witnessing in my clients and loved ones as well. See if you can stay with the metaphor as you read through the progression that follows.
First, I planted my bulb in rich soil, carefully reading the instructions, trying to be a good plant mama. (Admittedly, I am not a great gardener. Though I do try.) It surprised me how quickly I started to see the sprouts of leaves and a stem. Growth was right there beneath the surface, eager and ready to get started! The green shoots I quickly noticed were at first indecipherable, as much is in the early stages of creation, but the stem quickly became distinguished from the leaves as it reached upward. Every day it seemed an inch or more would grow. This was fast, meaningful, and important ground work the bulb initiated. Similarly to us humans, some of the most crucial growth is that which lifts us from our dark cocoon of slumber into an awakening that the time has come for work to be done.
One day the stem stopped its skyward growth and the beginnings of a tight bud started to form. I thought frequently of the magic that must have been happening inside as chemistries unseen brewed within the closed walls of the new bud, brewing future petals. I believe I know how this feels: cocooning inward, quietly integrating and nurturing plans for my future Self. It is indeed work that must be done in the quiet and solace of a safe, private space within.
After observing the bud I noticed that a slight cracking-open had happened. She started to part her walls like this, slowly and intentionally, getting ready to show her very early willingness to bring the inward out. It's takes immense courage to start to open; to release the tension of imagination and creation, and to bring the fruits of hard work toward expression. In the beginning it looked like this: