One early July morning last year, my daughters and I visited a local park. It is The Columbus Park of Roses in Columbus, Ohio. It showcases a gorgeous display of these romantic and fragrant flowers. There are many paths to walk along just lined with dozens of rose varieties, statues and gazebos. We enjoyed taking our time, walking through the mist of the early morning and admiring the roses.
I began snapping pictures with my phone like I always do when I’m on these excursions. I especially like to photograph flowers and all things in nature. There is so much beauty in the natural world. I find much inspiration, enjoyment and even therapy by slowing down to take in the moment of such splendid things. As I was snapping pictures, this perfectly amazing rose bud caught my eye. It simply stood out as an innocent child among the more mature fully blossomed roses who were all beginning to show signs of their age. Most flowers were beginning to wilt and die off. It had already been a terribly hot and dry summer with very little rain. Yet this bud was delicately standing tall, glistening in the sunlight from the morning dew gently cascading down it’s petals. It was perfect. This simple little bud reminded me of the uniqueness in this world. There is so much beauty that we find along our way through life, whether it be in something as simple as a rose or even in another person. We all are made with this sort of unique ability to bring joy and beauty to one another’s lives, just as this simple rose bud had done for me that morning.
While admiring God’s handiwork on this sweet little rose bud, and taking in my amazing surroundings, I was reminded of a poem by Robert Frost called Asking for Roses.
Asking for Roses is one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost. I must have been born in the wrong era. I love classic literature and poetry. I was the only kid in high school excited about starting a section on Shakespeare.
The poem walks the reader through an interesting and imaginative scene of a man and his wife walking by an old house set in the middle of a beautiful garden of roses. If they want to take a rose from the garden they must ask the keepers of the estate.
I have an extremely vivid imagination so what I see is a well-tended garden, over flowing with cascades of foliage, ancient stone fountains and high cobble-stone walls covered by vines. There, in the wood, sits a house amongst the garden, that was obviously a once grand and well loved home.
Now, sadly the house is dilapidated, deteriorating and crumbling before your eyes. The doors hang crooked from their hinges, the porch is falling through and the window’s broken glass is strewn about. However, the keepers of this garden still reside there. Crippled by age and no longer able to care for their home they redirect their energy to the roses. Passers by may be given a rose of their own to admire, they only need to ask the gentle caretakers. They will gladly share their beloved roses because “A flower unplucked is but left to the falling, And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.”
The roses in Frost’s garden, just like the rose bud pictured above, were made to be uniquely wonderful. No two are the same, each different in it’s own special way. A flower unplucked, like the flowers at The Park of Roses will die there where they were planted. They will only be admired by those who may discover them as we did that morning on our walk. But if you gather the roses, then you can take their uniqueness and beauty with you to treasure and enjoy.
It is my hope that you can sit back, slow down from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy the poem Asking For Roses By Robert Frost.
Asking For Roses
By Robert Frost
A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master,
With doors that none but the wind ever closes,
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster;
It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses.
I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary;
‘I wonder,’ I say, ‘who the owner of those is.
‘ ‘Oh, no one you know,’ she answers me airy,
‘But one we must ask if we want any roses.’
So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly
There in the hush of the wood that reposes,
And turn and go up to the open door boldly,
And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses.
‘Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?’
‘Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.
‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you! ‘
Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses.
‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling–
Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling,
And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.
‘ We do not loosen our hands’ intertwining
(Not caring so very much what she supposes),
There when she comes on us mistily shining
And grants us by silence the boon of her roses.