What you're looking at above is my Christmas amaryllis. It blossomed instead on January 25 . The backstory is that late last October at Home Depot I bought two bulbs, each set on shiny black pebbles in a glass vase flared at the top. The selling point was that the flowers would open on the same day we open our presents. The bulb I gave my mother-in-law did live up to the promise. Mine took its sweet time. Was the kitchen window sill with the northern exposure to blame?
The amaryllis gets its name from a shepherdess in Virgil's Eclogues. My dictionary says it's" a South African bulbous herb widely grown for its deep red to whitish umbellate flowers". Umbellate, meaning growing from one point and looking more or less like an umbrella.
I'm not complaining in the least. When the flowers finally opened one by one over several days, it was a reminder that Christmas is more than a day, a week, a month. It is a way of waiting for moments in life when we experience something bigger than ourselves. Epiphanies of the Divine. Like the beauty of flowers. Emblems of the peace and love of the Good Shepherd.