“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…” Susan Polis Schutz
My greenhouse shelters and nourishes six miniature roses. A hardy pink specimen is from my stepdaughter who was given the rose by one of her fourth grade students. Another rose produces splashy white and red blossoms; It’s a bold show-stopper and one of my favorites.
I also have a fragrant cream-colored rose; its bloom imparts the faintest hint of apricot. This elegant rose fills the greenhouse with sweet perfume, and I imagine it planted in a British country garden, but for its plague of powdery mildew that appears on the pine-green leaves when the air is still.
The other three roses are new and unproven, but their tight buds spell promise despite the clinging pale green aphids. As I make my rounds through the greenhouse my fingers close upon aphid-laden stems and slide up toward the rosebud; as I do this, the aphids unceremoniously fall away.
The blossom of rose in its prime is plump and firm and radiates rich color. In comparison, the older blooms’ tint has leached from the petals and the petals curl randomly underneath themselves, as the center of each bloom becomes dried and stiff and no longer heavy with attractant for the curious pollinator.
One recognizes the tremulous cycle of life –of our own lives in the season of a solitary rose blossom. Nascent beginnings transform into vibrant completion then move through a gentle, yet persistent fade. Until petal upon petal dislodges, floats, and falls to the soil or the cedar plank flooring inside the sun-house. What remains is a bloom-bereft spiky-skeleton.
And so when my neighbor phoned and told me her old horse was dying today, I thought of the rose—the roses in my greenhouse and how each process of the plant represents a season of life –for even the time of death is an inevitable crossroad all living beings must traverse as they journey.
Revision! Lorie was so kind to send me the pictures of Whisper below after she read this posting: