Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Five Rose Bushes and How They Grew (Or Not)
I think watching the five rose bushes grow is a good analogy for life and how people choose to live it. Of the five rose bushes, despite good care, watering and fertilizer, one of them didn't even try to make it and died within days. It just plain gave up, for it had plenty of green, and it could have chosen to grow, but for whatever reasons, it didn't even give it a try.
I took it back and the store let me pick out another one, so again, I brought it home and gave it the same treatment. This one didn't look THAT promising - it had two spindly little greenish-white twisted branches coming out, but somehow I felt good about it. I wasn't wrong either because it took in all the water, the fertilizer, and everything it could get and it put out the largest leaves and healthy red-green leaves, and lots of them too. It is really pumping to grow with everything it has. The leaves and stems are quickly reaching up as if to catch every drop of available sun. This rose bush is not only going to make it; it is going to outpace all the other ones as if in a race to be the biggest and strongest.
One of the rose bushes has green on the trunks and it looks healthy, but it is as though it hasn't made up its mind whether to grow or not. It just sits there with its green trunk but it hasn't even tried to put out any branches or leaves. It almost feels as though it is waiting for someone else to do its work.
Another of the rose bushes was green, and it sort of sat there for awhile, and then finally decided to grow. It took a longer time, malingering day by day, seeming a little hopeful as it held onto its green for a long time, but then it finally just gave up without any little fight to survive.
Another of the rose bushes is trying too, but it is a timid little thing. It too had the greenish white branches, and it is putting out little sweet leaves, but keeping them close to the trunk. It is growing, but slowly, as if not quite sure of each step it takes like a baby that is trying to take its first steps but has to hold onto the wall for security. It doesn't know how to trust its own self to make it .
The final rose is taller than the rest in its trunk, but it has just put out one spindly branch and it has leaves, but only a couple and it is growing so slowly that I often forget to look at it to see how it is doing because my eyes are drawn to the most robust of all of them and how truly hard that one is trying.
I always think about these roses when I think about the challenges I hear that people are having in their lives and the ways they handle them. I think about the ways they chose or chose not to go on and live no matter what the circumstances. Like that robust rose bush with its huge leaves reaching out to grab everything it can to live fully, it was a trash rose to start out with as all of these were, but it will go forward and it will make it in life. Even if this rose didn't get regular watering and fertilizer and a lot of good sun, I have this feeling that it would be the kind of rose that would grow between cracks in pavement. It really wants to live and nothing will stop it as long as there is even just a little trunk and roots left.
What kind of rose bush would you be in this life?