Rosebud reminiscence

Confession: I can’t grow roses. I have three rosebushes by my last count, although bushes is admittedly stretching it a little. Rose sprigs would come closer. Or rose sticks. None of them bloomed this year (too busy battling inhospitable soil and Japanese beetles, I presume) save one lone flower that pushed its way out in September.

– Replete –

It made me think of my graduation motto, from the days when I was sixteen and starry-eyed.

Sacrifice: the bud for the rose, what I am for what I may become.

– Mature –

Which in retrospect seems like a kinda dumb thing to lay out for myself, a somewhat lacking life verse. Full of my activism and ambition – I am going to totally rock this maturity thing and grace the world with my presence, etc. But hey, I thought it was nice, although somewhat self-consciously.

It didn’t help that my motto reminded my big brother of Budweiser’s slogan, in our family of teetotalers, and he’d insert it at every opportunity, in a voice husky with meaning, just to get me. This bud’s for you!

– Emerging –

(That might be grass, coming up behind the rosebud. So that could be another battle it was fighting.)

I couldn’t have known then that growth is only infrequently something we have the courage to choose for ourselves. Or how unwelcome that process would be, surprisingly unlike the unfolding of gracious petals that the rose watcher observes, whatever the rose may feel. Or that, shockingly, I wouldn’t feel more wise and winsome at, say, 37 than I did at 16.

So I wish I had picked something a touch more savvy.

– Just begun –

Plus I like being a bud. It’s comfy.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

“At last count”? Does the number of “bushes” randomly change and needs to be reevaluated? How much time elapsed between the “last count” and the writing of this post? If the number changes please notify us at the next count.

3 years ago
Reply to  Travis

I kill them off and buy more. ????‍♀️ I’m a rosebush serial killer.

So it’s kind of hard to know which ones to count. Does two half-living bushes make one whole? As our friend from The Princess Bride says, There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

3 years ago
Reply to  Travis

You both make me smile!

3 years ago
Reply to  Travis

A confession of my own… There are times I think I may read here just for Travis’s comments. ????????

3 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

There are times I think I may write here just for Travis’s comments.

3 years ago

So happy to find someone whose rosebush-nurturing skills equal mine!

Sara Nolt
3 years ago

Ah, another comrade. You know it is bad when your landlord says, “My father-in-law told me your roses aren’t looking too good.” No they aren’t. One thing we didn’t disclose when we moved into this house is that I do not have a green thumb. Not a black thumb, either, in that I don’t purposely kill my plants. But I’m more like that meme I saw that suggests I can be a “plant hospice nurse who tries to ease their suffering when they pass silently from my flowerbeds and garden into the afterlife” without their fruits ever pausing in my kitchen. My roses are straggly stalks. They have countable leaves, which I don’t think is supposed to be normal?

3 years ago

Digesting your thoughts on growth…
Meanwhile throw all your banana peelings at the base of your rose bush(es). They somehow do an amazing work on roses.

3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Lapp

Ooh! Something practical! Good to know.

3 years ago

“Plus I like being a bud. It’s comfy.” Me too! I love this.

Lucinda J. Miller
3 years ago

I like your motto. High ideals are okay, especially in the young. So much better than no ideals.

3 years ago


3 years ago

I know I never comment here, but I’m a reader! ????
So forgive if this comment is long and “preachy”, but this post about growing and blooms and buds, reminds me of the chapter I just read in “Gracelaced”, by Ruth Chou Simons.
“Blooms are not the only way to see God’s faithfulness. He is actively growing you, friend, while you sow within the hard soils of affliction. You don’t have to be blooming to be growing, so don’t give up. God Demonstrating His Glory Through Your Dependency is your real story, and He’s writing it day by day through deepening roots and newly formed buds. Blooms will come because He’s faithful to finish what He begins in us. But even if you don’t see it today, take heart. Your land of affliction is the very ground the Lord is using for your good and His glory.”

3 years ago
Reply to  Hope

Thank you!

2 years ago

Another fellow gardener who can’t grow roses! Neither can I, unfortunately. Out of the three rosebushes I bought on sale last year, only one grew leaves, and those got chewed up by an annoying green caterpillar!
As far as spiritual growth, sometimes I feel like that rosebush. I can’t see much growth…but I know that somehow, I’m growing, despite the fact that my leaves feel like they’re getting chewed up. As for the roses…well…they’re coming, even though it IS more comfy being a bud. 🙂

2 years ago

“…growth is only infrequently something we have the courage to choose for ourselves.” This is the line that got me.

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: