I woke up this morning to a beautiful Amaryllis bloom. It had been holding back for months. Yet, in recent weeks, it seemed to have made a decision to come forward and burst into the miracle that it was meant to be, a gorgeous sculpture of deep red and intricate design, taking shape before my eyes.
Every Christmas I plant some sort of bulb in the hopes that it will bloom alongside the holiday. If the timing is right, the petals open just as the magical day arrives. I do this for a number of reasons.
First, it is a reminder of the magnificence of life and its inherent beauty. It suggests that there is a force and intelligence greater than humanity. It offers an opportunity to witness the cycle of birth, growth, and death which on its own is a true miracle. I also love the color and majesty of the amaryllis in particular which is an extreme contrast to the darkness and cold of a New England December.
This year I was late in purchasing the bulb. By the time I got to the garden store, there were only a few left. The stragglers were clearly the runts and it was questionable whether or not they had enough energy in them to bloom at all. I decided it was worth a try, so I spent the $10 and went on my way.
The chaos of the holiday ensued and it wasn’t until early January that I actually got the bulb into a pot. By the time it made its way onto the window shelf, I was pretty sure it would be a dud.
January passed and then February and nothing. I watered it occasionally with no response.
March approached and with it the turn of events that would bring on the global crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic. My attention was focused on stocking up on food and other supplies, making sure my daughters were safe, and setting up camp for a quarantine that would last God knows how long. The bulb left my mind entirely.
Then, in the middle of March I noticed it beginning to sprout. The stalk was growing. It was going to give it a shot.
I was surprised by the timing, as if the flower had decided to come forth now when the world was in such crisis to offer me hope. I watched the miracle unfold over a couple of weeks and today it opened its petals full force.
Some people believe there is no such thing as a coincidence. I am one of them.
In Squire Rushnell’s book, “When God Winks,” he describes a coincidence as “a sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.”
We’ve all experienced situations in which something or someone shows up at just the right time; we are led unknowingly down a road that ends exactly where we want to be or something unplanned happens which saves us from impending tragedy.
When this occurs, we can feel it. It may be a serendipitous sequence of events, but more likely we are being led down a predetermined path by a power that is greater than ourselves.
My amaryllis in full bloom is a testament to the miracle of life and to divine timing. It feels like a God wink and that brings me peace and makes me smile.
For more real life stories of how the power of coincidence guides your life (with a lot of humor thrown in), check out a copy of Squire Rushnell’s book. It will leave you laughing, comforted and maybe even a believer.