Smelling the Roses, by Tasha Halpert

Smelling the Roses

imageRoses in VAseWhen I was growing up my life was oriented around the calendar and the seasons. Living in the country I experienced the different times of the year vividly. Each time of year had its treats and its special occasions. That which was associated with them was not present at other times of the year. I am still very much in the habit of this kind of thinking. Most of all what I especially notice is the flowers that grow only at certain times of the year.

Driving along our country roads I am bewitched and blessed by the scent of the small white wild roses blooming along their edges. Essentially weeds, they are invasive in the extreme as I found out when once upon a time I planted some by the fence of our pool. It was something of a struggle to decide whether the lovely smell that lasted a couple of weeks was really worth the impressive work of trying to contain the thorny vines the rest of the time.

The tiny white petaled roses that grow wild everywhere they are left to grow are considered a nuisance and can be quite invasive. They are not welcome except where other vines grow wild. I am so glad when the season of their blossoming arrives. When I am outside I have my nose on the alert for their beautiful scent. There are a few growing near my porch. Every time I am there I am treated to their heady scent.

I also appreciate the profusion of daylilies that follow on their heels. The daisies that decorate the side of the highway are another welcome sight. There is something wonderful to me about the way different flowers arrive at different times, each bringing the gift of its color and scent to the eye and nose. Were they all to bloom at once they would lose their specialness and while they would still be lovely, they would not have the quality of unique appearance that enhances their presence.

Still, the roses are my favorite. The fact that the their season is so brief makes these tiny wonders extra special to me. Such brevity is growing rare in my life. Many foods I enjoy that used to be seasonal are now available all year round. Yet I wait to savor them in season. Local corn on the cob tastes finer than any other kind. No matter how good the peaches or plums from elsewhere might taste in the winter, I don’t buy them. I look forward to the local ones from the farm stand.

Growing up I enjoyed the different pleasures and treats that came during the year. I looked forward to certain occasions: the circus was one, another were the church fairs that I went to with my grandmother. When something nice is found rarely or seldom it becomes more special. When everything is within reach or readily available specialness diminishes. I don’t mind waiting for the Concord grapes of August. Perhaps like birthdays that come once a year, they taste better for the anticipation.

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