Scent of a Rose…

The sun sets on another day…

Morning. The fog is so thick you can cut it easily. The ground wet with the fallen clouds dew. I walk outside and feel the light mist on my face and then am overcome. The scent of dozens of new roses are invigorated by the mist, and all I can smell is the scent of a rose. So many memories.

I have loved roses since I was 14. That was a long time ago. I found later that my father loved roses as well, but for a different reason. Mine is a little like my posts each day, random and potentially thoughtful.

When I was 14 I moved again. I was not very involved in the move, I spent a long time at my Grandparents in Michigan and came back to a new home with boxes in a room, and half my things discarded. This was normal in our nearly yearly moves. the move was all that was important, neither my sister or I were considered in the equation. Depressing? Perhaps, but we tried to take it in stride. (And this is not part of the story.)

So I was once again given the job of mowing the yard and this house, the one we took this time, was more than a mess. A long time of obvious neglect had made it thick with weeds and unruly at best, hazardous would be more like it.I took my time because I had to, The small red Briggs lawnmower nearly stalled for each foot I made progress, and the mounds of mulched grass were piled like I was going to bail them later, but I continued. When I got to one side of the yard I encountered a massive thorn bush. It was nearly 8 feet across and was thick and had areas with vines almost three inches at their base., the grass was thinner because of the overwhelming thicket of thorns, so I just mowed around it, and when I was finally done, the yard looked better, but still the pile of thorns was there. They did not look bad, nor did they look good, they were just there. I thought the thorns were pretty cool, but I had no time to deal with them, school started and it was a new school, no friends, new rules, and a lot of things to think about. I did my work, went with it, and just kept mowing and weeding around the giant thorn bush when I was home. My hands became lightly scarred with the cuts from the giant thorns, but it was OK in my mind. I could deal with it.

School was difficult, not academically, I was so far ahead I was bored all the time. The school system was very different and I had been in special classes in my previous state because of a test I took. What was difficult was the rules. Where I knew the rules in my previous school, I now was faced with people who were very different. A few became friends, and a few were definitely not. I dealt with it day by day, but one day I was put in a difficult position. A friend I had made, Tim, was being picked on by several people. Two boys had him against a locker and were hurting him, and I could not stand by. I walked into the middle and pulled Tim out while dealing with the two. I will not bore you with details as that is another story.

The situation done I left that day sad and angry. Why were people so mean? Why did we have to come to this place? I was full of hate and anger and well, rage. I did not know what to do with it and as I arrived home the lawn once again needed mowing. I mowed it with renewed vigor this time, an almost massive need to conquer more. It was not long until I had finished and as I pulled up to the massive thorn bush I felt my anger well up. All the pain it causes could be eliminated, all the pain needed to be gone.

I began at the side and the mower started ripping the thorn bush down, I went from all sides one at a time and worked in. All the while the mower chewed it up in a methodical manner like a small fish eating a shark. I felt the thorns bounce against my pants as they too were chewed up by the rapidly moving blades. As I got to the center, I lifted the mower and left it slowly descend on the huge bases, and that too was chewed up. I remember it seemed like hours as I destroyed the thorn bush, utterly and completely. It was done. It was a mess, but it was done. I would pull the roots out another time as the clouds were thickening around me. I put the mower away and went inside while the storm rolled in on the area.

It rained for days, and I was calmer after my outburst protecting Tim. I was given wide berth at school, and Tim was being left alone. I would not have to live with the thorns anymore. I did not think about the bush until nearly a week later. It was time to mow again, the rain had overgrown everything. I got out the mower and finished the front quickly. In the back where a thorn bush had been there were now dozens upon dozens of roses. They were bright red and some had opened, and many were ready to open. The smell was overpowering. I took a minute and looked, all of the thorns were there, but the new growth was much more compact and succinct, and most of the growth came from the massive center stalk. I carefully mowed around the bush, and smiled for a moment realizing that out of the pain and chaos there could be something good, you just have to sometimes make a mess to make it better. I spent hours with the roses and learned more and more. I was careful and cut it back a little when it needed, and when we left for another house, the bush was magnificent and beautiful. I miss that bush to this day, but never forget it.

So, as the sun sets on another day, there are simpler ways of saying a person likes roses, but this morning as I smelled the fragrances of red, yellow and lavender, I thought of this day and of people I knew so long ago, and how my life is better because of it. Take a moment and realize, the days are better sometimes if you take a moment and cut things down, who knows what will grow back. In my case, it was a rose bush.

Sleep sweet, love life, and stop to smell the roses…

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