My heirloom Christmas Cactus is blooming! The bud looks almost artificial, but that is the real thing, a particular way the camera caught it. This one bloom was open by Christmas, but the plant is covered in swelling pink buds that I expect to open this week.
My husband’s Granny gave me the cactus–dug it out of her yard in SE Missouri!–at the birth of our son, nearly 34 years ago. I have always kept it in a pot, moving it with us and around each house trying to find good light to make it bloom. In all those years, it has rarely bloomed at Christmas, and in fact it never had a bloom until the Christmas following Granny’s death, when it bloomed like crazy. As the years passed, some years it didn’t bloom at all, and others, it bloomed nearer Easter.
This year our Big Mama, Granny’s daughter, left us. And now the cactus blooms in full array again. I hear you, Big Mama. Thank you.
Christmas has come and gone once again, but this week my very favorite of every year–what I have come to think of in capital letters: The Week After. It is this week when the dust of modern-day Christmas settles, the big happenings are past, everyone goes home, and it is quiet enough for me to listen to my own heart. I marvel at memories of Christmas past, and lessons I re-learn each Christmas (such as I really do like Christmas cards and that I need to make fruitcake back in November) and areas where I want to grow and change.
Suddenly, I’m thinking of the passage in Luke, which reads: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Enjoy this week after!