The rose did caper on her cheek,
Her bodice rose and fell,
Her pretty speech, like drunken men,
Did stagger pitiful.
Her fingers fumbled at her work,–
Her needle would not go;
What ailed so smart a little maid
It puzzled me to know,
Till opposite I spied a cheek
That bore another rose;
Just opposite, another speech
That like the drunkard goes;
A vest that, like the bodice, danced
To the immortal tune,–
Till those two troubled little clocks
Ticked softly into one.
Emily Dickinson (J 208)
This love poem of Emily’s tells of two people thrilled to be in the same room together and, somehow, merging into oneness.
It’s hard to believe, but there was a time I didn’t care much for receiving roses. I think I commented to that effect enough that everyone near me caught on and never bought me any.
Then, in 2001, personal tragedies struck and while I waited to hear if my melanoma, recently caught, had spread, and how I would rebuild my life in the wake of sudden changes, they took on powerful new meaning.
I remember, during that time, a trip to the grocery store, stopping at the floral department, enjoying the rose bouquets and purchasing a dozen yellow roses for myself.
I’ll never forget that bouquet, how happy it made me, and how it changed my whole perception of flowers.
In that moment they were grace.
Eleven years later, in a happier place, they are love.
We should all celebrate flowers.
(Photos–my birthday bouquet 2012)