Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Impatient Rose

Once upon a time, within the stone wall of the castle keep, a garden blossomed into every color imaginable. Roses of yellow, etched in shades of red and gold competed with the sunrise for its glory. Deep reds, pure whites, gentle lavenders grew in abundance. Every shade of pink was present, from the soft pink of a kiss to the deep passion of fuchsia. Tiny forget-me-nots begged to be noticed peeking through a thin covering of green. Morning glories climbed the crevices of the stone wall, pointing their trumpets to the sun in jubilation.

Every day, the royal gardener came and tended the plants. He offered water, trimmed and pruned where needed. And sometimes he sang. Always, he sang about the sun. And when the flowers heard his voice, they raised their heads a little higher sharing the warm rays of the sun.

But in one corner of the garden, a rose had not bloomed. Half hidden by leaves, camouflaged in a green cocoon, the tiny bud waited to be seen. If only the gardener would notice me, thought the little flower as she looked with envy at the other roses on her vine. If only he could help me shed this confining cocoon, then I could be all that I was meant to be.

The gardener did come. He gave water; he trimmed and pruned; he pointed the little bud toward the sun, but the little bud would not open. The little bud showed no color. Ashamed, she hid her face from the sun.

A few more days passed, and still the rose had not opened. She tried. She tried hold her breath till she was nearly purple, but the leaves of her enclosure held fast. She tried stretching and straining and wiggling with all her might. Nothing. So as always, ashamed that the sun would notice she hadn’t bloomed, she hid her face under the leaves. She would not look at the sun.

I can’t do it, the rose cried that night. I just can’t change. And as she fell asleep looking at the other roses in full bloom, she made a plan. I will ask the gardener for help. Then together, we can separate these leaves. And finally I’ll see the color I know is in me somewhere. Finally, I’ll be able to look at the sun without shame.

And so she did. In the morning she made her request. It was humbling to admit she couldn’t do it on her own. The little bud felt as if the thorns on her vine were piercing through to her heart. The gardener will understand. She was certain. Surely, he would help her. And then he would sing about the sun as he always did.

But the gardener refused.
“What?!” asked the little rose in confusion. “Why won’t you help me? Can’s you see I can’t do this on my own?”
The gardener smiled. “Of course you can’t. You weren’t meant to.”
Anger flared in the little rose.
But the gardener continued, “I can’t change you from the a bud to rose any more than you can. If I were to pull apart those leaves, I would tear your petals. You would be small and fragile. You would never grow, and you would soon die.”
Tears filled in the eyes of the tiny rose. It was hopeless.
The gardener smiled, “Only the sun will make you what He intended for you to be. I can water. I can trim and prune. I can point you in the right direction, but only the sun will change you.

And so the gardener did. He watered; he trimmed; he pruned; he pointed the little flower toward the sun. But that was all he did. Soon, the little rose began to bloom. She wasn’t beautiful yet. She wasn’t in full bloom. But slowly she was changing.

1 comment:

valerie said...

Love the story. Very thought provoking and applicable. Thanks. MOM