Week 9 – a rose is a rose is a rose
I live in Lake Oswego, Oregon, a Portland suburb. Portland is known as the City of Roses. It has a beautiful rose garden overlooking the city. This photo was taken from there.
There is a fantasy kingdom known as Rosaria with a full royal court of real human dignitaries known as the Royal Rosarians. Each year they preside over the Portland Rose Festival with its Queen of Rosaria and her 14 Rose Princesses (outstanding young women chosen from Portland-area high schools.) It’s beautiful festive event, in a beautiful setting, at a beautiful time of year in Portland. We love it.
The Rose Garden is home to many thousands of rose bushes and has been for over a hundred years. It boasts hundreds of varieties of roses from every corner of the globe.
Rose is the middle name of our middle daughter and the name of our favorite Aunt Rosie. It is my favorite flower, our daughter’s favorite flower (obviously), my wife’s favorite flower, and is always a feature of her birthday and, of course Valentine’s Day; she carried red roses in our wedding and red roses cascaded generously down the side of our three-tiered wedding cake.
Gertrude Stein wrote that a rose is a rose is a rose, meaning simply that things are what they are; the law of identity, or what the ancient Greeks would call a thing’s essence.
This week I enjoyed growing roses in my mind. I grew clones of roses from our own rose garden right here at our Lake Oswego home. Just as Lesson 9 instructed, it started with a tiny seed in a large pot on our sunniest deck. Water penetrated the hull carrying micro-nutrients, which germinated the seed and called forth its life. Tiny hairs multiplied over and over sending tender baby roots in search of more nourishment, then thickened into strong woody support, next bursting a thin green stem into the light of day. Tiny green leaves appeared in order to soak in sun rays, creating food and energy to return the favor to the growing roots below. Eventually the stem became strong and woody as well and produced sharp, protective thorns. Next, tiny red buds appeared followed by sepals, the precursor to the flower bud itself, and finally the glorious red petals, wrapped tightly at first, then blossoming into the regal beauty of Rose!