The Journey of a Rose

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Lorie's horse Whisper and Twinkie, his little buddy.
Lorie’s horse Whisper and Twinkie, her little buddy.                                                                   I remember receiving a wonderful gift of getting to ride this gentle beginner’s horse across my friend’s farm for my fifty-first birthday. I believe I was the last one to ride Whisper before he went into full retirement a year ago.

Revision!  Lorie was so kind to send me the pictures of Whisper below after she read this posting:

Whisper
Whisper
Sher's 51st birthday ride with Whisper. I had not ridden a horse for over twenty - five years. Whisper carried me safely throughout the day.
Sher’s 51st birthday ride with Whisper. I had not ridden a horse for over twenty – five years. Whisper carried me safely throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “The Journey of a Rose

  1. Thanks Sher for sharing the beautiful photos and writing. I always love getting your blog. So eloquent. Congratulations on your retirement from teaching, and your plans to spend more time doing the things that bring you joy. XO Sally

    1. Thanks Sher for sharing the beautiful photos and writing. I always love getting your blog. So eloquent. Congratulations on your retirement from teaching, and your plans to spend more time doing the things that bring you joy. XO Sally

      Hello Sally- Thank you for commenting! And thank you for your thoughts regarding me leaving teaching. Once I was ready to leave, I could do it easily, but it took a long time to get to that place. See you soon- I hope. 🙂

  2. Love the roses. My rose garden between the carport and house is in full bud. I hope for blossoms in a couple weeks. I have four “Jacob’s Coat” a mulit-color of red, yellow, orange and cream, two “Chicago Peace Roses” gifts for hosting AFS students years ago, one “Tropicana” from a friend as a memorial gift for my mother’s passing in 1999, one long stem yellow rose bush, and one long stem red rose bush. I have an apricot colored rose bush given as a retirement gift from teaching. I truly enjoy by rose garden but it is a lot of work all summer keeping it trimmed and dead-headed. I wish you much success with your roses.

    1. Love the roses. My rose garden between the carport and house is in full bud. I hope for blossoms in a couple weeks. I have four “Jacob’s Coat” a mulit-color of red, yellow, orange and cream, two “Chicago Peace Roses” gifts for hosting AFS students years ago, one “Tropicana” from a friend as a memorial gift for my mother’s passing in 1999, one long stem yellow rose bush, and one long stem red rose bush. I have an apricot colored rose bush given as a retirement gift from teaching. I truly enjoy by rose garden but it is a lot of work all summer keeping it trimmed and dead-headed. I wish you much success with your roses.
      Hello Rymmel– thanks for replying. I would love to see your Jacob’s Coat rose-sounds amazing with all of those colors. It’s neat how you have stories and associations with each of your roses. I have always felt roses do so well in The Dalles. When I lived in Southeast Alaska growing roses was pretty difficult, so it is wonderful to be able to see them once again in my own garden. Those and daylilies, which are my all- time favorite perennial. Sher

    1. Enjoy full retirement – I hope to see you soon! Thanks Karen– I was just thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you were doing. 🙂 No plans for your neck of the woods yet, but I will contact you. Heidi arrives today for a week!

  3. What a lovely story of your roses – and what a beautiful horse. I particularly love the photo of the horse with the little dog, so cute. RIP Whisper.

    1. What a lovely story of your roses – and what a beautiful horse. I particularly love the photo of the horse with the little dog, so cute. RIP Whisper. Thanks Reggie- Nice to hear from you!

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