Roses are a signature flower in most gardens. I see why, too. They are big, colorful, and beautiful.
My grandmother has a large yellow rose bush next to her dining room window. Everyone compliments her, and even asks to pick one, sometimes. It had many blooms at one point. The yellow petals covered most of the green. Now, though, the blooms aren’t flourishing as much. I’m not sure if it’s because everyone picked them all or because she hasn’t had the chance to trim it and care for it, better. It could even be both.
Yesterday, I was sitting by the window watching the thunderstorm come through. I observed the rain drops hitting the leaves on the bush. At a glance, it doesn’t really look like a rose bush. Until you see the thorns.
I leaned closer to look at the thorns, and my mind managed to find a connection to the plant and myself. There were no beautiful roses, but there were plenty of bright, green spikes.
What if I was that bush?
There were once roses. A very noticeable shade of bright yellow that hid the barbed stalks. The spines were there, but they were well hidden, only showing when the petals fell. I used to be bright on the outside, with my thorns being well-hidden. I know every rose has its thorn, but I have several.
Then, I realized, the thorns are not just part of the bush, but they serve a purpose. They protect the buds. I always thought, along with many others, that the thorns were supposed to represent flaws or edgy behaviors in us. But, what if those spines were actually meant too represent our protective characteristics? The thorns are actually our anxiety that protect us from danger. Our guard that keeps us from being hurt.
Without these thorns, we are vulnerable.
As I was thinking some more, I knew I was exactly like that rose bush. Since the flowers are gone, all that is left is the thorny undergrowth. Now, that is all anyone sees in me. They see my flaws, my insecurities, my anxiety, and they can see my overgrown guard. It isn’t always like this, and the flowers do bloom, again, but they aren’t as vibrant.
I know that, one day, the roses will bloom and be as beautiful as they once were. For that to happen, I need to care for them. I need to trim the overgrown stalks and get rid of the weeds around them. I need to water the roses and help them grow, correctly. And instead of cutting off the thorns, learn to accept them because they are what protects the delicate flowers.
Care for your roses and thorns. Even if the thorns are intimidating, they are what protects the beauty we have.