It came in a box for Christmas – the living bulb of a potted amaryllis – its eager sprout barely emerging from the dirt. I placed it near a sunny window. Within four days the plant surprised me with several inches of growth on her stalk. But shortly, she absolutely astonished me and my husband as we measured her height each day, discovering her to be an average of an inch and a half taller than the day before. By January 12, she had reached nineteen and a half stately inches tall, which was apparently as tall as she needed to be. She now turned her energy into producing, also crazily fast, four gorgeous and bold, deep red, velvety flowers. I felt face to face with a living Georgia O’Keefe painting. Each flower faced a different direction, so that no matter from which perspective you were privileged to glimpse her, there was no mistaking who she was. Pure delight!
We should all be so fortunate to know from the start who we are, to know our purpose in life, to get up and get after it, and to bring beauty into the lives of others as we do. But even if we don’t recognize ourselves from a young age, it’s still not too late. We may be just stuck for a time, by holding on too tightly to false ideas – ours or someone else’s – of who we are, or we are afraid of growth or change to become who we are. It was Lao Tsu’s observation about it that: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”