How Sad the Dying Rose

by | May 21, 2006 | Discipline, New Life

It seems a shame, indeed.

I feel it an obligation on my part to, as the old saying goes, “stop and smell the roses.” Its meaning, simply put, is for us to take time to enjoy life. For me, it literally means to stop and smell the roses in my garden. Or anywhere else I should find them. It is my way of saying thanks.

Lately, my flower garden has been neglected. It is my fault for I have not only ignored the beauty there, but I have been struggling to “see” the beauty in my own life.

Yesterday I wandered past the gate into the garden and found myself apologizing to the flowers there.

Feeling somewhat foolish, a rare emotion for me, I bent over and touched a daisy. Holding it between my fingers, I said “thank you.” Then, walking slow and deliberately, I scanned the rest. Running my hand across the tops of dozens of yellow and white bursts of sunshine, they appeared to smile back at me in appreciation.

Halfway through, I came across the roses.

Still producing new buds for future enjoyment, I saw among the thorns and newly awakened beauty, one rose giving up its time and energy to the rest.

Its head slumped forward, petals now limp, the flower of God’s own making, looked exhausted from the journey. Having given its all, stretching toward the sun and gladly opening to the full possibilities that came with each day, the rose gave in.

I carefully reached beyond the thorny branches to touch my fallen friend. As I did, the heart-shaped petals fell into my hand.

I held them gently and carefully retreated from the bush.

Selecting one single petal, I stroked it between my thumb and index finger.

I know that feeling. It always somehow reminds me of touching the hair of a newborn child. Moving the petal closer, I place it against my lips and I remember kissing my own children on the “soft spot” of their heads always thanking God for the miracle of their birth.

“How sad the dying rose.” I said out loud.

Then that Voice within me spoke echoing old familiar words.

“Sadder still, is a rose that never blossomed at all.”

I knew immediately the lesson here.

One does not fail for having tried and no one noticed. Failure, like the unborn rose, is in never having bloomed at all.

For roses bloom in fields far from sight still fulfilling the covenant made between the Creator and the bud.

If you are feeling lost and unfulfilled, push on to bloom to your full potential. For if the Master Gardener put so much beauty in the rose, imagine what lies within you.

“Do not morn the dying rose. Be grateful for it ever having bloomed at all.”

Bob Perks


How Sad the Dying Rose