Touches of Life

The last day of September is a hot, dry and windy one. Of all the beautiful gifts that this first month of Spring has brought, the blooming amaryllis has been the most heart-warming.


I got the amaryllis plants that I have growing in my garden from my grandmother. They are precious to me because they connect me with my late grandfather. I’m told that they were his favourite flower.

Shortly before he passed away he met someone who was selling amaryllis bulbs and bought them for my grandmother to plant. She planted the bulbs in an old wheelbarrow that he no longer used (They both loved re-purposing old things from machine parts to an old bath for planting in the garden.). My grandfather was born in September. He also passed away in September about 9 days before his birthday. So when the amaryllis flowers bloom each September, they move me because it feels like a part of him lives on through them even though he has passed. Somehow he still has life and it inspires me to think that it is possible to leave behind beautiful touches of life in this way. It reminds me that there are so many ways to leave a legacy.

amaryllis 2

In his book, Africa in my Bones, traditional African healer/shaman/sangoma, David Cumes writes: “Many tribes have an amaryllis plant in the homestead where the ancestors reside, and an offering will be made to this plant while holding conversation with the spirits, Members of the village will check in with the plant on arriving or leaving to report and to ask the ancestors for favours and safety along the way.”

I’m not sure how true this is, but in my case amaryllis plants are definitely a gateway connection to someone dear to my heart.

Are there any inspiring touches of life that departed loved one left behind for you?



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