Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The story of a rose bush

Last semester I bought a miniature rose bush at Safeway. I know all of you real gardeners are gasping in horror and going, “She bought it WHERE???” But let that pass. I bought it at Safeway. When I bought it, it had lush, full leaves and a number of buds which hadn’t yet opened into flowers.

So, I brought it back to my dorm room and installed it on my desk where it would have some sun but not too much and I fed it and I watered it. But something strange happened. Instead of the buds opening up, they all got dry and one by one fell off. The leaves turned yellow. My reaction: “OH NO I HAVE KILLED THE ROSE BUSH!”

It was a very traumatic time.

But eventually I picked myself off the floor and thought, “Well, it is not dead yet. True, the buds have all fallen off, and the leaves are sadly depleted. But there are still some leaves. So I won’t give up on it yet.”

So, I kept watering it and kept feeding it and patting its leaves and telling it not to die. And then one day I looked at it and said, “What? Is that….a new leaf?” And it was. And another new leaf followed it, and another, and then a new stem with new leaves on it.

Finally, I knew it was going to live (unless I stopped watering it, of course). But there were still no hints of any flowers. I worried about this for awhile (what if it never bloomed again?) but I kept watering and feeding it and decided that even if it never bloomed, it would still be my rose bush and I would love it.

Around this time I went home for the summer and took my rose bush with me. I put it out on the back porch and fed it and watered it.

And then, one day I looked down as I was watering it and saw…a bud! O frabjous day!

That bud bloomed and then seven other buds appeared and began to grow and swell and burst into flower until as I am writing this, the rose bush looks like this:

Now, all of you are probably (I hope) going, “Yay, Maureen did not kill the rose bush!” But you may also be waiting for the point. Or maybe wondering if there is one. Well, the point is this: sometimes our relationships with people are like my rose bush. At first we see them and they’re full of potential for flowers and happiness and joy. And then, even though we feed and water them, something happens and the buds fall off and the leaves turn yellow and we go, “OH NO I HAVE KILLED IT!” But I think that sometimes if we keep watering it and keep feeding it and keep ourselves open to the other person, sometimes all the watering and feeding does something and all of a sudden there’s new growth and maybe it isn’t so hopeless anymore. And then you see that that there’s a bud amid all the new growth and suddenly that relationship blesses you more than you ever could have expected a few months or years ago.


Sarah Dee August 20, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

*hug* good words maureen good words.

Valerie August 20, 2008 at 7:12 PM  

Excellent post.

"I... decided that even if it never bloomed, it would still be my rose bush and I would love it."

Something about that just about made me cry, Maureen. I don't know if I'm just being emo tonight, of if it was THAT BEAUTIFUL. Either way, it touched me.

Miss Deb August 20, 2008 at 11:24 PM  

Lovely Maureen :) Great reminder:)

Krista August 21, 2008 at 5:30 AM  

Maureen, I have so many thoughts that are bubbling up because of this post (as well as a book I just finished recently, that reminded me strongly of this post), but I have very little time in which to say them (a little thing called 'time to go to work'!). Fabulous post, a ton of food for thought, and thank-you...I'm encouraged to reach out to someone again, a friendship I had just about given up on. So...thanks.

Krista August 21, 2008 at 5:30 AM  

PS - I agree with Valerie, I absolutely loved this part of your post:

"I... decided that even if it never bloomed, it would still be my rose bush and I would love it."

Beautiful. Really.

MaureenE August 21, 2008 at 1:06 PM  

Wow. Well, thanks everyone! I'm glad you were all blessed by it. It's certainly an area I need as much work on as anyone else.

sara August 23, 2008 at 1:10 AM  

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who felt a little teary over this entry!

Something I needed to hear - thanks! :)

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