Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Hardworking Roses: abundance and generosity multiply like rose petals

You'll recall I received two dozen roses this Valentine's Day. As it turns out, both bouquets were from one man, my sweetheart of yore, my dear-hearted friend of now, Daniel Holland, of Lake County in Northern California.

As it turns out, Daniel ordered one dozen roses and Fortune multiplied his order by two.

The arithmetic problem: 1 dozen x (Lady Fortune) 2 = 2 dozen roses received/1 dozen paid for.

This is a good thing, for Daniel is a gardener. How fitting for this hard-working gardener to have his hard-wording dollars multiplied by 2 for his Order of the Roses. And, what a note of confidence, that he told me as much and we had a mutual chuckle.

Now, these two dozen roses Fortune brought to my door, went out of my door as follows [Imagine rose petals for each offering on the list]:

** When Obinna Nwakanma came to my Gathering Room for an afternoon of talk that set the world right, we exchanged poetry books, and I sent a small bouquet of Daniel's roses home to his wife.

** I left a half-dozen roses in my niece's refrigerator at the White Cottage to welcome their family home from their journey of re-building in the Louisiana storm zone.

**I enjoyed the roses in my bedroom at my father's home and then gave that half-dozen to my Cousin Cynthia and her daughter Elizabeth.

** I prolonged the life of the roses in my refrigerator. I shared the images of the roses with readers on Riehlife. [Another arithmetic problem arises....how many petals for how many roses X 500 readers per day = x] I called Daniel with frequent Rose Reports to tell him about the continuing life of the roses as they extended further into the world over the course of three weeks.

**I dried the petals and the life of the roses took more journeys, multiplying even further:

--When N. came for her art date and I showed her papercutting, as mother had showed me, we assembled eight packets for each member of her family that contains a colored snowflake, a handfolded paper cup, and a few of Daniel's hardworking rose petals.

--I placed dried rose petals in one of mother's best sky-blue glass dishes and then placed these inside Julia's grave...the dried petals mixing with the clods of frozen earth.

--I sent more dried petals inside notes to my two great-nieces and my niece after Julia's burial on March 8th.

And, now, finally, the roses have completed their journey out into the world from Daniel's heart, through my hand...and we extend their petals, beauty, and healing power in an offering of abundance and generosity...(dedicated to Oshun, Nigerian goddess of love and beauty).

It's all due to you, Dame Fortune...that's one heck of an arithmetic problem!

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3 Responses »

  1. I've been wandering through your posts, and lighted on this one today. Roses are on my mind this week. I'm the de facto wedding planner for my daughter's wedding at the end of this month (great news for a control freak like me) and wedding flowers are my creative baby. The wedding will be on a small farmstead, with a river bordering the east side of the property. In that setting, it seemed that sunflowers and Queen Anne's lace would do the trick, until the question of bugs arose. There was consensus (online, in family discussions, reflections of times past visiting farms and cutting flowers) that farm flowers bring bugs.

    I've taken a u-turn, and now it's imported roses and alstromeria that will fit the bill. The roses come from Ecuador or Colombia, where there are huge flower farms supplying Europe and the U. S. Qualms about pesticide laden farms, set up to manufacture the perfect bloom, have been put aside. I tell myself that everyone needs a job, and rose farming probably supports many families. I spotted an endorsement online for one of the farms, telling customers that they are part of a green initiative to practice more natural farming methods.

    I'm not sure if this is good fortune, or a curse....when I look at the roses decorating the tables at the outdoor wedding, I won't be seeing the flowers alone. I'll be thinking about whoever grew them, (good fortune) and questioning whether the soil has been damaged by growing them.

    I'm so glad to have read this post of yours, Dame Fortune visiting your home and sending roses far and wide to family members and friends. I was wondering what one does with 20 bouquets of roses when the wedding is over...I plan to give away bouquets to local guests. But now I also know that I will take some home with me, to savor the memories of that special day. I'll have petals to send to friends and family....get ready for wedding rose petals arriving at your door!

  2. Susan,

    I'm so thrilled that you found this post from 2008 and replied to it so extensively and warm-heartedly. Your comment gave me a chance to read the post again. To respond to the roses in 2010--2 years later--makes my work on Riehlife worthwhile.

    Janet

  3. Thanks for your good wishes, Janet and an opportunity to share my flower story! Your work on Riehl Life enriches my life. Keep writing and creating! And get ready for those rose petals!!

    Warmest regards,

    Susan

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