Many long years ago, when I was a small girl, the best part of the school session was the month of June, and not only because it was the beginning of Summer holidays.
I travelled home by school bus. The weather had warmed up by June; the bus windows were all open. And every once in a while, a waft of Air would bring in the scent of the wild Rose, which grew rampant on the sides of the roads.
I was amazed at this flower. She came back year after year, without any tending. And Rose's scent...clean, fruity, sharp, sweet and unmistakable...made me gather fist loads of her to give to my Mother, never minding the thorns. I did this until I discovered how fleeting the life of Rose's flower was, once picked.
Her beautiful, scented blossom is meant to be admired outside, where Sun and Rain and Wind release her ethereal essence. It seemed to me that she breathed out the very smell of the upcoming Summer.
And here she is again. Our property has wild Roses everywhere. Some do not like her; they pull her, they poison her, they bulldoze the Soil around her. And eventually, she does not come back.
There are very few wild Roses blooming along roadsides anymore.
But I love her. She can be difficult to love, with her running roots and her habit of hanging on to her dead canes until there is very little of her blooming canes left in a huge tangled bush. Rose does so for a reason...those old canes give her support when she leafs out, when she blooms, and finally, when her red hips hang ripe and luscious.
When I cleared the lower bench, I took out those old canes, and pruned the others. Rose has rewarded me with an abundance of blooms...but she can not hold herself upright, if the canes left were small. One of the jobs on my list is to stake those dangling, lovely balls of pink, in so doing giving Rose strength to grow those large hips.
She will send up other canes. If they are in the same area as the cane left after clearing, I will leave them, in order to build a bush. I did this with a small, wild Rose I found when we moved in, right by the West side of the deck steps.
After two seasons, she glows. She is clothed in pink with very healthy dark green leaves, used almost as a fashion accessory. It is as if, at any moment, she may pick up her skirts and twirl and dance, as if in a minuet.
From a very unassuming little Rose, about the size of a minute, she has grown three feet, possible more if I had let her. But I pruned, fertilized and clipped, last year when there was little in the garden to nurture.
And she has certainly rewarded me! Now my concern is for how large she will grow...and how much clipping and pruning there will be, in the future.
When I smell her unforgettable scent, as I work in the beginning stages of what will be a garden, I am transported back to my childhood. It never fails to make me smile with anticipation for the upcoming Summertime.
It doesn't matter that I no longer have Summer vacations such as I had as a child. I am flooded with happy memories, all of which shower me with joy and well-being. In reality, my childhood was not always like this; yet, Rose only sends me cheerful, buoyant recollections.
And this is the way I prefer to remember my past...with joy. I have left the rest...the garbage left over from lessons learned...behind.
Wild Rose takes me back in time when I first began my journey. A time of anticipation and innocence, a time when life's sorrows had not yet tinged happiness for me.
And I wonder...perhaps it is time, once again, to view the World through those proverbial rose-coloured glasses I once owned...the ones I put away long ago? Perhaps it is time to put the scarred, cracked and blackened ones away, along with that left-over garbage?
The scent of Wild Rose tells me it just might be so.