The Rose Bush

by Lindy on February 27, 2012

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There’s a rose bush that resides in the shade of my backyard.

Most of the time it’s a mess of thorns and sticks, not pretty to look at all, one step removed from a tumbleweed, really.

Until the spring, when it blooms.

And when it does, it makes up for its 11-month stint of looking like Hell, and rewards us with an explosion of awesome red joy.

Rose Bush

But the funny thing about this rose bush, besides its infrequent way of expressing itself, is that it was once not a rose bush at all, but a rose tree.  And it didn’t bloom red roses, but yellow ones.

When we moved into our house, the yellow rose tree I speak of wasn’t doing so well.  It was mostly a stump of scraggly pointy woody parts, with a solitary green branch that offered up one yellow rose at a time.

Being a happy new homeowner, I took to tending the yellow rose tree right away.  I trimmed off the dead parts, sprayed it with soapy water to get rid of the spiderwebs, made sure it was getting plenty of water, and sent it happy restorative thoughts.

But after a few months of heavy tending, it wasn’t improving. In fact, the rose tree developed another ailment. New branches started sprouting at its base.

A knowledgeable friend of mine informed me they were suckers – green, fruitless shoots that served only to steal the tree of its positive, rose-bearing energy. So I started the regular practice of cutting them.

But every time I snipped them off, more just kept on growing.  At one point I went to the hardware store to ask if there was a tar or chemical I could put on the bottom stumps to make them stop growing.  But I never found such a magical concoction.

Then, life got busy. My new homeowner zeal faded, and I stopped trimming.

I gave the struggling tree over to whatever it was that wanted to grow out of its base, and soon the woody tree stump was encased by leafy green branches.  They grew up and over and around until the entire yellow rose tree was no longer visible among them.

And then one day, those suckers bloomed (see awesome red joy description above).

Growing up, I spent a lot of time wishing I was someone else. Wishing I was more social, more popular, more attractive to boys. Taller. Skinnier. Prettier. Curlier hair. More athletic. A better artist. Kinder. Deeper. A better person.

Eventually I became more comfortable in my own skin, but in adulthood there are times I get swept up in comparing myself to others. There are better writers, better mothers, better bloggers, better money-makers out there.

But as much as I try to snip away who I am in an effort to be someone else, I won’t be able to flourish until I give in and let my true self take over.

Even if that self is a red rose bush, who was once a yellow rose tree, who only blooms once a year.

We all have our purpose.

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  • One of my favorite song lyrics is, “I can’t be born again, but I can change a little every day.” (From the theme to Fruits Basket.) Perhaps you let the rose bush change into its better self. We can all be better people if we work at it and are allowed to grow.

  • Awesome post. I think sometimes we forget that self improvement is great, but changing ourselves and molding ourselves to be unrecognizable is damaging.

  • It’s amazing how even though we have evolved into mothers with our own families, we still struggle with our sense of self. I hear ya!! :)

  • Whoa, Lindy. Look at you all deep on a Monday morning. This was the first of my blog reads for the day. Maybe there’s something to that.

    Thanks for the levity.

  • Great thoughts lindy – there’s always something that we wont like about a situation or about the way we are, but with time and effort, we can always change and grow.

  • Aw I love this. Just the type of inspiration I’ve been needing. :)

  • Ruthy

    Hi…I definitely like this one!Thanks for the great post here then…

  • Francine

    Awesome kind of post..I really appreciate hope you can continue share..I like this kind..

  • Devhonn

    Hi…I am really happy about sharing this post to us…Great job!

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  • cute! I like the story, and parable-like quality makes for fun reading.

  • It’s amazing the beauty and transformative powers hidden within. Sometimes resisting the urge to change oneself can make it easier to see the best parts of your innate self. Very beautiful analogy!

  • Great post, introspective and very wise. We all have our purpose, well said.

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