Triumph of the Roses


As I opened my front door this morning to take my girls to school, I was hit by a pleasant surprise.  The first roses of the year bloomed on the bush in front of my porch.  There weren’t many, just two.  But their presence promised more to come.  I couldn’t help but smile as my oldest daughter walked out ahead of me, stooped and smelled the first rose of spring.  Turning towards me, she beamed a bright smile.  “Mmmm…” was all she needed to say.  The roses in front are pink, and always call great attention to themselves and bask in everyone’s remarks on their beauty.

Curious now, I walked around to the side of the house, and, sure enough, there was one rose blooming in the bush overlooking the sidewalk.  This one was red, strong and proud.  Beaming.  At this point, I cold hear my girls oohhing and aahhing cheerfully.  What a way to start a Monday morning….

Then it hit me.  There’s much we can learn from these roses.  Every year brings the winter of their discontent.  They are tramped upon by children and neighborhood animals, pulled out, (just in appreciation of their beauty, of course), snowed on and frozen out.  For all their beauty, they are not defenseless, however, as anyone who’s been pricked by their thorns can attest.  And so the battle continues, until they finally give way to the prolonged cold snaps of winter.  Disappeared, and, to the untrained eye, gone forever.

Until a day like this one.  Not quite hot yet, but with just enough warmth to promise more.  And that’s all they need.  They bloom.  Slowly at first.  Just two.  And another around the bend.  Then five more.  Then twenty.  Until the whole of the yard is bursting with color and phenomenal beauty.  And the scent!  Glorious!  Undeniable.  Until one can’t come into the house without bathing in fragrance.  Pink in front.  Red and yellow along the side and back yard.  And they trumpet their beauty, in all their senses and splendor, as triumphantly as the year before.  And the year before that.  And the decade before that.  And so on…and so on….

How do they do that?  I don’t do anything special for the bushes.  (I’d LOVE to claim a green thumb, here, but…).  I don’t take care of them.  I don’t put down anything special for the bushes to feed on.  And then it hits me again.  They’re already taken care of.  (For those so inclined, please insert God here).

Is it a miracle?  Hhhmmm….  An image comes to mind.  I always laugh when I see a flock of birds on my yard after a hard rain.  Feeding.  Squawking feverishly.  Tramping about this way and that on the grass, near the bushes.  And I realize as much as they’re getting, they’re giving back, too.  It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it?  We get our blessings from the craziest places, and in the most unexpected ways.

So, in honor of the annual triumph of the roses, I say: take your blessings where you find them.  Worry not about the winter of your discontent.  It too, shall pass.  Soon, spring will come.  Even before it’s warm enough for your taste, you’ll find yourself blooming.  Don’t worry about taking care of it.  Your triumph is already done.  So go ahead, trumpet your beauty…and bathe us in the fragrance of your success.

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1 Response to "Triumph of the Roses"

  • Eugena Holman says:

    Steven I can parallel this in my life and apply it so many times over (even though I am only 25 years old in my head).

    Twenty-two years ago I got married and had a beautiful baby girl. Years of ups and downs could be shared but there is one instance that your post brought me back to in the spirit of Mother’s Day. When my daughter interrupted MY PLANS (laughing at myself because I should know better to make them when God has already executed the real plan) for her future with having a baby there was an incredible winter in our relationship. I felt tramped on and disrespected by her because she never seems to listen to me. I felt frozen out of her life. I kept fighting to keep my position as I saw it AS THE MOTHER until I finally gave way to the exhaustion and frustration of not being heard. We stopped speaking civilly and the Love for one another seemed to disappear and, to the untrained eye, was gone forever. (I felt that I had to just forget I even had a daughter because it hurt me so much to be around her… the devil is a liar)

    Until my first spring day when my daughter called for me to help deliver my beautiful Nieta and I became Abuelita. (Abuelita because it’s sexier than GRANDMA) We weren’t quite best friends but the call was just enough warmth to promise more. And that’s all we needed. “They bloom. Slowly at first. Just two. And another around the bend. Then five more. Then twenty.”

    Three years later my daughter is celebrating her third Mother’s day and we are on the same page for the most part still with our winter times but when I don’t do anything special and it just I leave it alone things are taken care of. (I am inserting God here).

    It truly is amazing how God works. I can appreciate everything you have just shared with us and I have to admit that sometime I spend too much time in the winter of my life. So, in honor of the annual triumph of the roses, I shall take my blessings and I am learning not to worry about my winter of discontent.

    ON A PERSONAL NOTE.. MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT TO YOU NKOSI! Being part of the Berlack Method Group is my new Spring and all that support the movement are my new Blooms.. ROCK ON NKOSI NATION.

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