Sunday, 12 June 2022


Rose stepped into the spacious greenhouse, immediately feeling the slight mist permeating the surrounding air. She’d missed this place, even if it was but a few years since she last visited. The calm, the presence, the aura of so much growth and life within one single, solitary space enthused her. She closed her eyes, breathing in, slowly, holding the breath within her lungs, as she reminisced with the many years of clean air. Exhaling, with no haste at all, she slowly opened her eyes and smiled.

She stepped forward slowly, with ease, taking in the surrounding area with keen eyes. Her day-to-day life, despite being busy and reasonable, needed such an escape ever so often. She stopped by her favourite namesake, the roses that featured throughout her life. They were, as always, the most beautiful of flowers. The very expression of the red, romantic, meaningful emotions conveyed within each petal, brought her feelings to the front of her mind.

It had been months, a few days, maybe a couple of hours, since he’d left. The emotions moved within her, finding their outlet as her eyes welled, ever so slightly, as she pressed the thoughts within her into the deep abyss of her soul. She wouldn’t let the thoughts turn into thinking. Thoughts, alone, were not that destructive, with thinking… the thinking torturing and ripping at her very sanity.

“Are you okay Petal?” said a kind voice from behind her. Rose turned her head, ever so slightly, smiling, as her Auntie appeared at her side. The smile grew as the warmth from another person, ever so slightly, bonded with her energy.  Rose knew that Aunt Bessie always managed to calm her energy, the vibration of two kindred souls knowing and understanding each other, with no words needed or required.

“I’ll be okay,” replied Rose, her smile fading slightly, “it’s all but the growth of a flower!”

Rose’s Auntie smiled, knowing very well that most conversations often featured words linked to flowers in many ways. Rose felt Bessie’s arms wrap around her, squeezing ever so tightly, expressing the concern from one to another. Rose placed her hand upon Bessie’s arm, returning the caring gesture. Bessie could feel the rising emotion and, immediately, chose to impart her usual wisdom.

“Rose, life is but the chance to grow. To become more than we once were. Take this flower… ,” Aunt Bessie picked up a rose from the pot in front of her, a fine selection, in full bloom, “it’s so beautiful, the design, the perfect structure that only knows one way to be. It’s also destructive, protecting itself whenever a fool hardy person tries to get close!”

Rose, intrigued and ever so slightly confused, moved her head slightly to the left. Bessie knew that she had Rose’s full attention.

“The thorn, my dear Rose! The thorn. The rose is so perfect on the outside but, if miss-treated or handled improperly, will always, always, cut the person that doesn’t treat them the way they should be treated. One slip from caring fingers, become scratched and cut!”

Rose, fully confused at this point in the conversation, started to giggle, “Auntie, I have no idea what I’m supposed to think?”

“Oh Rose, you’re beautiful, but you have the most tender, vicious, unscrupulous thorns. You refuse to let someone get too close to you and if they do, heaven forbid their hands! You’ll cut them to shreds.”

Rose, finally understanding, lowered her head and smiled. She knew that she needed to open up, but the fear of an overgrown garden stopped her in her tracks. She knew that she needed to bleed, to become vulnerable, but she simply didn’t wish for her petals to become creased, damaged or lost.

Bessie placed the rose back into the vase, nodding in her usual way. She knew that hearts that ‘didn’t’ allow love, would be broken. Every dream stayed a dream, until woken by understanding, and every rose remains within the garden, until allowed to be picked.

“Come on you, let’s go have some oddly titled tea that makes no sense! Be brave, be a fool, be as soft as a rose and let’s talk this out!”

Rose smiled, realising that she needed to visit her auntie a lot more than she did. After all, If you needed thorns removing, what better person to assist than a certified, perfectionist botanist that’s your very own, special, budding Auntie.

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