I used to care less about roses. They were too formal, too corny and cliché. That was before I knew better. Now I am renting a house surrounded by roses of all kinds and colors. Being in the East Bay of California, roses have three long blooming seasons. They are bare for only a few winter months. But even then, their twisted branches are appealing, full of character and potential for bearing another round of roses. This is a bush right outside our kitchen window; its rapid transformation to full bloom has been fascinating to watch.
I do not believe roses are just a happening of nature for the purpose of appealing to and repelling something else in nature. Do you know that their thorns do nothing to deter creatures in the natural world? The thorns seem to be there for the purpose of analogy and storytelling. The rose is a gift, especially to us humans, and to receive it as such is to enjoy its beauty all the more. The neighborhood deer, greedily chomping on baby buds, doesn’t care about its beauty, and the itty bitty insects certainly don’t see the whole picture, but we do…and it’s gorgeous.
The rose’s fragrance, color, incredible design, and even its thorns are here for us to muse over, delight in, and use in creative ways, even to the point of cliché. I’m not a scientist, but as a designer, I can say that the design of this plant, whether it burst into being or evolved over time, begs for the acknowledgement of a Master Artist who is giving and—not to overuse the word— beautiful. In celebration of this Easter weekend, lets fully receive the gifts that surround us. Look into the face of a rose—or other thing of beauty—and take it in. Know it’s intended for you. And don’t forget to say thank you.