A rose is a rose

I enjoy growing roses, and the abundance of rain we’ve had so far this spring has encouraged the plants to leaf out very well.


There is much to enjoy about roses–their shape and form, the color, the aroma. It’s interesting to see how people react to a rose garden. Some walk through it, glancing around as they go. Some sit or linger and enjoy the view. Some actually stop and smell the roses.


I find that people respond similarly to works of art in a museum, except perhaps for the smelling part. Nature’s works of art invite us to discover and explore complexity and variety, to take it in and appreciate what we are experiencing.


The garden at its best lifts us up and makes us aware of a world of beauty and complexity that is right in front of us, if we only have the eyes to see. I find that macro photography helps me to focus in on the minute details of the garden that I might otherwise overlook.


The following is a poem by Mary Oliver.

When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention

“As long as we are able to be extravagant we will be hugely and damply extravagant. Then we will drop foil by foil to the ground. This is our unalterable task and we do it joyfully.”

And they went on. “Listen, the heart-shackles are not, as you think, death, illness, pain, unrequited hope, not loneliness, but

lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety, selfishness.”

Their fragrance all the while rising from their blind bodies, making me spin with joy.


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