The Amaryllis

Belinda Howard Smith

A comfortable upholstered chair with an amaryllis and Christmas cactus on the side table.

The impact of a single act can last a lifetime. As an elementary-age girl, I asked my mother what I could buy her for Christmas. She suggested an amaryllis bulb. The price fit within the budget of my meager, twenty-five cent weekly allowance. I was thrilled on Christmas morning when I gave her something she would enjoy, though I must say, the dry, crusty bulb wasn’t very pretty.

Later, when the amaryllis bloomed along the fence between our house and a neighbor’s, Mother brought it to my attention. My heart swelled with pride.

The amaryllis was relocated to a front flower bed. I have a photograph of Mother in 1990 sitting on the front porch near profuse blooms of amaryllis. I started school and graduated living in that house. The following year, when my parents listed it “for sale” after residing in it for more than thirty years, I grieved for a week. When my mother expressed her surprise at my grief, I explained that I felt like I was being uprooted from my hometown.

Years passed and so did my dad. I don’t know when I started the annual tradition of giving my mother an amaryllis in December, a popular holiday item offered at nurseries and grocery stores. When it bloomed at Christmas I may have been just as thrilled as I was as a child and Mother indicated her joy just as enthusiastically.

Pink amaryllis in bloom against an orange brick wall.

When I was in my hometown for a school reunion in summer of 2010, I stayed with a dear friend who still lives on our street. It was mid-July and I took a walk down the block to stand in front of the house where I grew up. Fifty years before, just in time for a new school year to begin, we moved into our brand new house. Not long after, the amaryllis bulb was planted. As I took in the scene reminiscing that hot summer evening, there in the front bed was a pink, blooming amaryllis!

My mother is now gone, though I still buy an amaryllis kit with a bulb and pot in December. In anticipation I watch the stem’s daily growth and delight when the first bloom bursts forth and think of my mother. The opening photo is this year’s amaryllis.

Memories of events that shape our lives are often never expressed. Frequently the reaction to the suggestion to write a story is met with, “I can’t write.” Sure you can! You learned how to write as a child. A story can be a sentence, a paragraph, or a book.

At BellaVida Bed and Breakfast, you will find the opportunity to relax and restore, read a book, or write a book. Visit Wimberley and the Texas Hill Country. Though while you’re at BellaVida, enjoy country living at a place where guests can connect, create, and celebrate a beautiful life!


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