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I am a Rose

In the garden I often lose myself in a plant: I lose my self-consciousness, become totally absorbed in that being. But still I’m perceiving it as other, separate from the act of perception. What could I learn by putting myself in the other’s shoes... er, roots? For example, Rosa “William Baffin.”

Blooming: I am giving my glory to the world, opening up sensual treasure. Green sepals clasp tiny buds in tight embrace, long tips twisted together to wrap securely... then as I open the tips I grow them into spoon shapes that begin the reaching out, like tiny hands gesturing “here I come... voila!”

Next the petals, a pink deep beyond blushing, a color the human mind stumbles to approximate by calling me “raspberry pink.” First as hints, peeking out between the sepals. Then, my buds bursting out of the sepals, one by one I uncurl petals, like a sleepy tiger opening my eyes and yawning, then stretching luxuriously, reaching each limb out for the delight of the movement, for the joy of the sun on my skin.

Next I open my flowers wide, flinging color into the air like birdsong announcing sunrise. When my petals all expand to their fullness, ruffling and curling each in its own curves, I finally uncover my yellow-green pistil, and yellow stamens. The white center of my petals shows off the yellow anthers sprinkled thickly around my pistil. Just around the center, I flourish a few odd, elfin petaloids, in a mischievous dance; sometimes I streak them with a bit of white too.

This is my nature: to give joy to the senses. To publish it to the world, to show off lavishly, give with extravagance, celebrate the luxury of nature. I receive benefits from some, but I give to all.

Every year I send roots further, arching strong canes taller than a human, bearing hundreds of blossoms. I’m tough, a survivor, and my thorns bite if I’m bothered. But few want to bother such a beauty; my gifts are my best defense.

Back in a human point of view ... this exercise got me to better appreciate details like the fantastically shaped little petaloids: curious, I found out they’re a mutation from stamens. But also, I hear myself talking about myself, Catherine, in ways that slipped by my internal censor. How often do we realize we're projecting?

Photo by C.H. Clark - Petaloids ring the stamens of 'William Baffin' roses

Text and photo © Copyright 2005 Catherine Holmes Clark

Published in the six Nashoba Publications papers on Friday, 24 June 2005

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