She was clearly not where she was meant to be. And I had the feeling she was as surprised by it all as I was at seeing her there.
The flouncy little single rose blossom had poked her head completely through to the back side of a tall solid wooden fence, while the rest of her was out of sight, leaning against the front side of the fence as intended, as planted.
It seemed that at some time in her youth (for nothing larger than a bud could have made it through that small crack in the fence) her curiosity must have won out over her family ties. And so she thrust her tiny head through to the other side of the fence. She peeked into the unknown. She opened herself up to the unfamiliar side of the sun. And once she was there, she bloomed into her full beauty, apparently quite happy and in good health.
Quincy the dog and I were walking past the fence that separates two neighboring yards a few blocks from my house. We were approaching from the western (back) side of the fence. And there she was: a perfectly formed pale pink rose in full bloom, nodding at us in the slight breeze. And then we saw the rose bed itself, which was obviously planted on the eastern side of the fence.
The fact that the lovely blossom appeared so isolated, so out-of-place, so singular and friendly, stopped me for a closer look. She nodded again in greeting. And she made my very soul smile in return. (I suspect a flower waving at you is uniquely qualified to break through even the most pensive or solemn frame of mind.)
Q and I soon continued on our walk, but the message and meaning of the diffident single rose stayed with me, and had its way with my heart and mind for quite a long time.
Like most of us, I suspect I have been trading my own curiosity for trepidation lately; afraid to venture away from my side of the fence, fearful of looking onto the other side (or the others’ side). Perhaps I’ve suspected that the cracks in the fences that define my life – that define me – are to be avoided rather than taken as a visionary opportunity of possibilities.
And yet, this small rose took that chance. She reached out and through and looked around and waved at strangers. And in her instinctive way, she bloomed quite perfectly. She kept her roots, yet found new sun. And she thrived.
I suspect it’s the reassurance of the familiar that keeps us on our particular side of the fences in our lives. I suspect it is our own fears that cause us to create such fences and barriers and separations in the first place. But perhaps we might consider the curiosity of the rose, the rose who took that chance – that opportunity – that possibility – that vision – of the other side of the fence.
There is a quotation from Douglas Adams (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) that says this: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I was intended to be.”
None of us may have ever intended to go through such global uncertainty, with all its fear and anxiety, its unknowing and unwanted, with cracks in our familiar surroundings and holes punched in places where we believed ourselves to be safe and content. But I suspect we will end up where we are intended to be. And I suspect we will be curiously beautiful when we get there.