A rose is a rose. A fragrant bouquet. A symbol of love and friendship. Timeless. Ageless. Beautiful from bud to bloom, from thorny stem to opulent petals. Elegant. Refined. Strong. Her armour of thorns so sharp as to draw blood if you dare to get too close. A juxtaposition in dominance and botanical splendor. The emperor and empress in one stem. Endurance. 150 plus species surviving 35 million years. A treasure.
I have always loved roses. I love the scent of roses in perfume and in the air from a bouquet. When I was out photographing some late fall blooms last evening, I became mesmerized with the thorns on the stems. Some were bright red, some glaringly unapproachable, like this one. I got as close as I could while conceding several snares in my sweater to get the right angle. I guess what strikes me most about roses is the balance of yin and yang. Masculine and feminine. Poise. Confidence. An inner beauty that goes beyond the tactile to nestle into the most intimate of memories in the mind and live on forever.
Every day seems to hold within it an endless stream of juxtaposition. Morning sun, evening moonlight and darkness. Sleep and waking activity. Joy and frustration from one moment to the next. You’re listening to your favorite song in the car and then someone cuts you off. Really, it’s just a matter of finding balance in the opposing energies. Taking a moment to breathe in the peace and let go of the thorns. A moment to “smell the roses”. I find peace when I get up close to a flower and it lets me peer into it’s soul. And that one moment, captured on film, becomes ageless. The sensual curve of the petals then witnessed again and again in the curves and folds in draperies, the soft drape in the cowel neck of a favorite cashmere sweater, fresh clean sheets out of the dryer before they are folded. Or consider this. The juxtaposition of the thorns against the softness of the petals as a table setting of fork, knife and spoon awaiting a fine meal. Sometimes I wonder if there would be a world to live in without opposing energies to create opportunities to grow. As I learn to find inner peace and happiness in a world of recession and depression, I know better times will come. History repeats itself. And so has the rose in it’s journey of 35 million years. It has seen everything, literally. The beauty of the rose is ageless. Isn’t it kind of cool to think that our ancestors enjoyed the same fragrance, the same tactile appeal, the same respect, the same degree of joy upon experiencing a rose?
In closing, I’d like to share one last photo of a rose. The following photo is one of my favorite photos so far, and it is also one of my Dad’s favorites. Dad named this photo “The Last Waltz”. She waltzes alone, but she is not alone. I would like to think she is waltzing with her Creator who holds dear her dreams and wishes. The one greater than she, but “one” with her at the same time. Another juxtaposition beyond physical comprehension as it exists on faith alone. The greatest juxtapostion of all.