Monday, January 7, 2013

naked rose bushes

When I came home yesterday, the rose bushes were naked. Just days before the branches were tall and scraggly, and deep green leaves hung off their ends. Most had at least one bud in various stages of letting their petals go, and the red and pink scraps surrounded the bushes on the ground below. It wasn't life, but it looked like it. Now their branches were short and stubby, with nothing left on them. I was so sad I almost cried, and I realized I wasn't crying for the rose bushes, because this has happened before. I know the leaves will come back, and new buds will open into new flowers. I almost cried because I know what it's like to lose things, to feel so empty, to have that little bit of green cut off. (I like to hang on, just like those leaves do.)

Then I remembered this poem, which had been going around in my head since I read it the other night. Seasons are so comforting because they help me to know what to expect or what to hope for. But sometimes, even if I'm not able to hope and I expect something to start dying, new life can start.

Hurricane by Mary Oliver - via here

It didn't behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
everything.
But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn't stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn't
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.

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