Sunday, February 14, 2016

Spirituality: "The Rosebushes" by Margaret Silf

One summer I planted two rosebushes in my little garden, in what was not worthy of the name soil, being mainly composed of builders’ rubble. Nevertheless, to my astonishment, they flourished. Every time I came home from my frequent travels, I was thrilled and utterly surprised to find that they had brought forth even more buds. But because of my prolonged absences, I’m afraid they got almost no attention from me. I hadn’t done any of the things that the garden books say you should. I hadn’t fertilized my rosebushes or clipped off the dead heads of the blooms because I’d been traveling. Those bushes were, I am ashamed to admit, left to their own devices. But whenever I returned, I greeted them and they greeted me back. They reminded me, ever so gently, that the dead heads, the wilting petals, the full blooms, and the vulnerable new buds are all part of their story – all at once, with no rhyme or reason in the arrangement.

On balance, I was quite glad that I hadn’t interfered with them. Imagine if I had seen a dead head and got the notion that the entire bush was a lost cause, and then had ripped it out. I needed the presence of the fresh new buds to remind me that the whole rosebush was a bigger picture than the snapshot I was focusing on. Life is always bigger than the situation we are in.