“and something ignited in my soul” ~Pablo Neruda

a_rose_is_a_roseGertrude wrote a nine page poem, titled “Sacred Emily”, but most people only remember one line, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Life is like that. So much happens in a day, an hour, a moment, but our memories crystallize tiny events that spark our memories. We value some things more than others; push away memories that we devalue. The why of that is personal and enigmatic even to our selves, our conscious minds.

Lately it’s been easy to think that other people don’t value what I think is important—fresh air, potable water, connecting face-to-face, but as Jim Taylor puts it, “… we have no objective way of assigning a value to the cleanness of a lake or river. To a goodnight kiss. To an unexpected insight. To a moment of sheer delight.”

Here’s a moment that ignited my soul. May it kindle a spark in you.

A few days ago, it was a Monday—to be more precise—I was walking home from the Library. The Library, wherever I live, is one of my favourite places. The day was glorious. One of those warmer than expected autumn days. The sun was brilliant in the bluest of skies with cottony clouds sashaying along. I left my work and my studio and headed out for a walk. To justify this wanton act of pure pleasure, I brought along a book that was due soon and which I had finished reading. An errand and a good work all wrapped up in a tidy package of a walk just for its own sake.

Heading back home, I took a leisurely route through an old neighbourhood that abuts my own. A few blocks from my home, I spied an older couple, trimming back their rose bushes, readying them for winter. Suddenly, a wistfulness, a homesickness of the best kind seized me. I spoke, “Someone certainly has a way with roses. I’m from the “Rose City” and I miss all the roses. I can’t seem to have much luck up here.” The couple looked up and their smiles lit up like they were a couple of pieces of sunshine. They introduced themselves and I shared my name. We talked for a bit as neighbours do when we forget ourselves and truly connect.

Impetuously, the woman, said, “Wait for a second; I’ll get something to trim these few for you to take home.” She grasped the large secateurs and began cropping the loveliest red roses. Then she spied a bud and spoke again, “You must have this bud too.”

Luckily I had a dress with extra-long sleeves and since it was fleece I had gloves of a sort so that I wouldn’t get wounded by the serious thorns. Holding them lightly, I thanked them and walked on my way. Lighter for the weight of these glorious symbols of friendship.

May we all reach out and share what is precious to us like these lovely people. They gave me far more than some red roses and words pale in the face of their gift. I wish you blue skies and roses and friendship.