Photo courtesy Pixels.
I have five rose bushes in pots in my yard. It is interesting to watch the way they grow (or don‘t). These were rescue rose bushes – I got them in one of those very cheap way–too–late–for–bare–root–roses sales and they were literally bare root – no sawdust or other wrapping to protect them. It looked as though the grower simply plowed up their fields, threw the survivors into a box and brought them to the store. I looked carefully through all the ones that were available and picked the ones that had some signs of growing or trying to grow.
Watching the five rose bushes grow is a good analogy for life and how people choose to live it. Of the five rose bushes, despite great care and love, watering and fertilizer, one of them didn‘t even try to make it and died within days. It just plain gave up, for it had plenty of green, and it could have chosen to grow, but for whatever reasons, it didn‘t even give it a try. I took it back and the store let me pick out another one, so again, I brought the new one home and gave it the same treatment.
This one didn‘t look THAT promising – it had two spindly little greenish–white twisted branches coming out, but somehow I felt good about it. I wasn‘t wrong either because it took in all the water, the fertilizer, and everything it could get and it put out the largest leaves and healthy red–green leaves, and lots of them too. It was really pumping to grow with everything it has. The leaves and stems quickly reached up as if to catch every drop of available sun. This rose bush is not only was going to make it; it was going to outpace all the other ones as if in a race to be the biggest and strongest.
One of the rose bushes had green on the trunks and it looked healthy, but it is as though it hasn‘t made up its mind whether to grow or not. It just sat there with its green trunk but it hadn‘t even tried to put out any branches or leaves. It almost felt as though it was waiting for someone else to do its work.
Still another of the rose bushes was green, and it sort of sat there for awhile, and then finally decided to grow. It took a longer time, malingering day by day, seeming a little hopeful as it held onto its green for a long time, but then it finally just gave up without any little fight to survive.
The fourth rose bush tried too, but it was a such a timid little thing. It too had the greenish white branches, and it it put out little sweet leaves, but kept them close to the trunk as if needing to protect them from everything. It grew slowly, as if not quite sure of each step it took like a baby that tries to take its first steps but has to hold onto the wall for security, not knowing how to trust its own self to make it .
The fifth rose was taller than the rest in its trunk, but it just put out one spindly branch and it had leaves, but only a couple and it grew so slowly that I often forgot to look at it to see how it is doing because my eyes were drawn to the most robust of all of them and how truly hard that one was trying.
I always think about these roses when I think about the challenges I hear that people are having in their lives and the ways they handle them. I think about the ways they chose or chose not to go on and live fully no matter what the circumstances.
Like that robust rose bush with its huge leaves reaching out to grab everything it could to live fully, it was a trash rose to start out with as all of these were, but it was determined to go forward and it will make it in life and to be a rose that would cause people to admire it for trying so hard. Even if this rose didn‘t get regular watering and fertilizer and a lot of good sun, I have this feeling that it would be the kind of rose that would grow between cracks in pavement. It really wants to live and nothing will stop it as long as there is even just a little trunk and roots left. What kind of rose bush would you be in this life?