One of my Christmas gifts was a pear-shaped bulb of an amaryllis, boxed with a compressed planting disc and its pot. The directions were simple: Add two cups of warm water to the disk resting on the bottom of the pot; then fluff up the mix with a fork. In minutes, it became a nurturing bed for the bulb that I planted, root system down. The directions continued: Set the pot in a warm place and water each week. Blooms will appear in eight to ten weeks.

From my writing table I now beam love toward the plant, its tip resembling an engorged penis, sunning in front of my study window.

Within the scaly bulb are known to be strap-shaped green leaves and a cluster of two to twelve funnel-shaped flowers at their top, usually white with a crimson stripe. So it’s about growth in the dark: slow and imperceptible. Whether this happens, however, depends on my daily tending.

An apt metaphor to carry into the New Year: to be conscious of the life-pulse and fan its flickers, to sacrifice the outworn and step into the untried, and to embrace change: body-mind-spirit. We do not do this alone. Another tends us.

Let us open our hearts to this tending during 2016 and enjoy a New Year filled with surprises!

Perhaps like an amaryllis, become a harbinger of spring’s gladness!