I share Rebecca’s fondness for those wax-enclosed ‘magic’ bulbs. I dug the one I got last year out of its wax enclosure late this summer. It is now making tall spiky leaves in a pot. No more blooms, but it’s alive and glad to be here. Like the rest of us.

Florida police raid house of fired data scientist who alleged state manipulated covid-19 stats—WaPo

Georgia reaffirms Biden’s victory for 3rd time after recount, dealing major blow to Trump’s attempt to overturn the results—CNN

Millions of Americans are heading into the holidays unemployed and over $5,000 behind on rent—WaPo

December 7, 2020

Daily dose of wonder
by Rebecca Crichton, Seattle, Washington

As Thanksgiving approached, I started acquiring a supply of my favorite gifting items, for others and myself. Both come from Trader Joe’s and by the time you read this, they might be gone, but the concept behind them remains.

Top of the list are wax-enclosed amaryllis bulbs. TJ’s started carrying these four years ago and, having discovered how popular they are, has increased the supplies every year since. These ‘magic’ bulbs need nothing but indirect light to perform. Just to make sure you see that. No water, no caring for. They have everything they need to grow and be beautiful inside them.

They grow about two inches a day, their large bulb reaching to a height of 2 feet before flowering into their multi-bloom glory. The bulbs are either covered in red, gold or silver. Before this year, the flowers were all red. This year, the silver and gold bulbs will have white flowers. They all have at least two bulbs that will bloom over the next month and beyond. As the blossoms fade, the spear-shaped leaves grow alongside the stalk, eventually making a pleasing green display. I have received reports that bulbs that I gave in November were still blooming in March!

The other TJ gift I give are Lucy Glo apples, from the Chelan Fresh Orchards. These seasonal apples are yellow on the outside and pale to deep pink on the inside. Cutting them open always elicits a “Wow!” of surprise and delight. Their flavor is both tart and sweet, with a hint of berries.

Why am I sharing this with you? It’s because both of these fulfill a newly discovered desire in my life: A daily dose of wonder.

Wonder, like Awe and Love, is an emotion that can encourage the ‘feel good’ hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. They counteract the flow of cortisols like adrenalin and epinephrine, the ones we feel when we’re stressed. Given how many stressful things we have in our lives, I figure anything that provides a little relief and a shot of beauty is worth seeking out.

Photo by Rebecca Crichton

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