The second day of this brand new year. When the earth is as frozen as it is right now, it is hard to remember that things are growing anywhere. It is hard t0 have faith in what is happening underground. I planted this amaryllis bulb at the end of November, left it on my cold windowsill - southern exposure, but very little heat. Each day, for weeks, I looked for signs of green. But nothing. And still nothing. I watered it and talked to it, reminded the bulb that it should be reaching for the light, suggesting that it might try focusing a just a little bit harder. Still, all I saw was a dead-looking bulb. I almost gave up. Maybe I should have been singing to it or playing a little piano - a Bach prelude, a Beethoven sonata, a tune buried somewhere in my head. But my hands were cold. I think I was having trouble focusing. And then, last week, completely on its own, a hint of emergence - a thin green flame. And now, this week, there are two flames. I can almost see them growing. Two inches tall today. By tomorrow, probably three. Even in my cold, cold house, in January, it is happening . . . life!
Here is a very tiny poem written and given to me years ago by Spencer, one of my little students. He gave it to me printed on a little gift tag he had made out of purple paper. It was the end of the school year and we were both moving on to something new - he to a new classroom, me to a new school. His poem has been taped to my writing room wall ever since - a little dusty and crinkled around the edges. Sometimes I have forgotten that that it is there, kind of like all those other things that have underground lives of their own - bulbs, seeds, stories, poems, hopes, desires, good will, love, energy - the things that keeps us going and growing. Happy New Year everyone!
is the word
- Spencer Vatrt Watts