Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lessons From Roses

I'm very into my roses at the moment. They're putting on an unprecedented show! I have three rose bushes, and the one in the middle is a Don Juan climbing rose that needs reinforcement. I've tried several trellises and things, but they've all been unstable and couldn't bear the weight of the plant, especially during storms. Once the rose started to bloom and flop over this year, I was reduced to what I had on hand: a short, flimsy cucumber trellis and one of those stretchy cords with iron hooks at either end. It was not an effective or attractive setup. Last Saturday morning, struck by sudden inspiration, I bought an iron trellis – the kind with longer prongs on the bottom – and drilled holes in the wood border of the rose bed to drop it in. Of course, right as I was finishing the drilling and feeling proud of myself, the drill bit got stuck. My dad had to come remove it for me days later with a vise. But now the project is complete, and the rose bush is securely tied up and looks beautiful! This problem had bothered me for years, so I'm really happy to have it taken care of.

The life of a rose bush has a nice, predictable rhythm. First you see the red leaves of new growth. Then the roses bloom. Then they fade, and the leaves and stems grow again. Then new buds set, and new roses arrive. But the plant takes a rest between bloomings, and it makes the roses more beautiful. I need to learn from that. I continue to struggle big-time with resting and recharging. Over the past year or two, I've made several good attempts at stepping back and learning to say no, but I keep ending up back in this overextended, stressed-out place. I hate missing out on any activities or invitations, and I hate accepting my limitations, but I'm headed for some spectacular crash and burn unless I figure out a real solution.
One thing I really need to get back to is at least attempting to keep a Sabbath. Without realizing it, I became one of those people who "can't afford to rest" on Sunday. Then I wonder why I feel strung out constantly. It's a commandment for a reason. Stopping when the rest of the world keeps going is hard, but that's no excuse.
Anyway. Thoughts on a Wednesday.


  1. These roses are gorgeous!!!! I have a soft spot for roses.. my middle name is Rose :)

  2. Sigh - rest sounds amazing. I hear you though, it means something to rest on Sunday and not do anything. I have a better week. I struggle with feeling like being busy means being important. They are not one in the same. Lately I've been decidedly un-busy in my personal life (though I just realized I tell people that I am busy) and it's very nice. I am a better housekeeper, friend and etc. when I am not swamped with other things because I have so much more flexibility.

    I love the analogy of taking a rest between blossoming seasons. :)

  3. Your roses are gorgeous! I would be so intimidated to try to grow roses. (Not that I have any place to grow them right now, ha.) I don't think I ever realized that roses take a rest like that. It's a wonderful look at how we should all be or try to be or something. I'm no good at resting either. Oh, I stay in and do "nothing" but my nothing consists of blogging or thinking about writing or reading or who knows what else.