The Rose is My Familiar

IMG_0276I don’t know how everyone isn’t captivated by blooming roses, their fragrant layers of skin peeling back to reveal their heart. I don’t just notice them, I have to linger or stop to appreciate their beauty, to worship at their brief altar before they open so wide they fall apart. I know this experience of opening so wide I fall apart.

I belong in the Rose City because roses are my familiar. Much like people feel a powerful affinity for certain animals, for me it has always been roses. My room was full of rose and piano posters as a young teen. I’ve been collecting artistic roses of all kinds ever since. I have altars to roses in my home. If you look closely you will see them everywhere. I have one tattooed on my flesh and will have another with my daughter in the future.

I wonder sometimes what it is in the Rose that speaks to me so strongly, besides its inherent beauty. Perhaps the layers and layers of complexity, as the more petals a Rose has the more it draws me in. I have had so many petals that unfurled and opened me to life and love, and then fell away to leave me too small again, needing to unfurl and stretch into a larger and yet simpler way of being.

After unfurling and losing almost everything this time, I am a tightly wound bud, keeping my tender petals safe and yet searching out the light of the sun to coax me into opening again. The light shines brightest from my Eros, who nurtures my heart like a master gardener, knowing when to pour his love into me and when to allow me the quiet to find the new rhythm of this life we are growing together. Perhaps watching the millions of roses around me unfurl this spring and summer will be just the inspiration I need to begin blooming again.

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