Every year for the last few years we have a growing group of ladies at the church who have a Amaryllis race… some time in November we plant our bulbs.. (those who actually know what they are doing use the same bulb from the year before – mine always dies before she can be reborn but I digress) .. we plant the bulbs, name our ladies, and then post pictures to enjoy watching them grow together. The first year we actually started on the same weekend and it was a race to see whose lady would bloom first, as time has gone by we simply start posting anytime in November and name our ladies again. Last year I had a beautiful pink Princess Grace, she was graceful, lovely, but she died a tragic and young death until I left for a week on holiday and when I came back she was blooming again with double the flowers. This year, I took my younger with me to purchase my new bulb (Grace ended up in a landfill by accident last year). We picked white and as I explained why we needed to name her he looked me in all seriousness and said ‘You have to name her Vanilla mama, she’s white, and you have be sensical about these things’. Vanilla? Can you imagine, I was the mother of Princess Grace and now Im being asked to water and tend a Vanilla? All that was running through my mind was “Ice Ice baby” but there it was, her name was to be Vanilla Amarilla Haughton because once had to be sensical you know.
So why? Why am I talking about this plant race/non race thing that we do every year? Part of it is that I am really trying this year to not kill her, I stand no chance of actually winning since I planted late but I also wanted to to prove that I could do this thing. Plant something, keep it alive, remember to water it etc etc. All things that as a Mom I should be able to accomplish; though admittedly plants don’t whine if I don’t feed them or water them.
The thing is, this year, with our church closed Im finding that I am more lonely than ever, it’s always lonely being the pastors wife, that’s just the truth of it, but this is different, this is lonely on a really deep level. I am an extrovert and I enjoy people, I enjoy get togethers and coffee hours, I love chatting about the week with people and seeing the faces of people I may or may not know. Being around people energizes me, lifts my mood, makes me feel human. This closed church means that I have no people other than my kids and husband (for which I am so thankful do NOT get me wrong). I work from home, I have no where to go during the day because everything is closed, but once a week someone posts in our group about their amarylis and now they are doing, Ilean died, Olive isn’t thriving the way she should, Joan is already in her full glorious red splendour, Freya is about to bloom and Miss Priscilla is absolutely gorgeous! There’s way more, we have a large group now, and in some small way it’s a reminder that community is still happening, still around us, still continuing, and in the posts I am given a taste of normalcy in this totally not normal year.
It’s a small thing, but we need to hang on to those small things in times like these. The little normal things that happen each year that haven’t changed, it’s the only way to get through this crazy year.