Nice to see you again.
Hustling down the sidewalk on my way to somewhere last week, something astounding happened. I not only notice my surroundings, I also let them sink in.
I saw a rose. It was lying in what’s officially called a “tree guard” – a metal fence surrounding the small patch of earth in which a tree is planted on an urban street. (For those of you who are interested, you can learn more here.) The rose looked...well, limp. Its petals were slightly flattened and splayed, the edges tinged dark with dehydration.
The solitude saddened me, and my first questions veered toward calamity.
What happened?! Why was it there, all alone?! Had someone thrown it there on purpose, in anger or worry or haste? Did it represent a broken relationship, or a broken promise, or a broken heart? Betrayal? Shock? Unimaginable loss?
This went on for awhile, but, at some point, the questions gradually shifted to other possibilities...
It was a memoriam for a beloved pet. (Still a sad thought, but also heartwarming.)
Or it fell out of a loosely-gathered bouquet, one of a dozen meant for a proposal, or congratulations, or appreciation on a random Tuesday, and, when delivered, the recipient counted the roses and noticed the odd number and exclaimed with a big "Cheers!" along with the giver at the fortuitousness, because, after all, eleven is a powerful number.
Or it was tossed out of a window during a passionate moment to commemorate the spot where two people first proclaimed their love to one another.
Or maybe it was simply an accidental drop. Nothing more, nothing less. Another flower returned to the earth.
I walked a block past the rose, but the image clung, and I had to turn back and capture it with a photo. It was a very American Beauty moment – bag in the air, rose on the ground, an everyday object of no particular significance to the observer just being itself, yet inexplicably captivating.
As I took the photo, I imagined the rose calling to me, crying with me, teasing me, whispering to me, ignoring me, laughing at me. But, most of all, I imagined it encouraging me to take more moments like that. More moments of noticing, pondering, pausing long enough to actually turn back and spend more time with something that struck a chord. More moments of letting something mundane pull me into its beauty and out of the incessant mayhem churning in my brain.
I’ve been thinking about that rose all week. Kind of funny how that happens, isn’t it?
Everything has a story to tell, waiting for someone to listen.
So, thanks for stopping by. And keep sharing your stories, because someone wants to hear them.