I bought a rose today. I was a little unsure of the colour at first. I thought maybe white; my personal favourite, but seen by some as a death colour. Not appropriate for this. Pink? No, too soft. Then I thought maybe yellow, the colour of spring. But there was no yellow outside today. Even the sun was hiding. The world had transformed again into white. In the end, I settled on red, with a hint of yellow at the base. A true lover’s flower. Not a fresh bud, but one already open to the world, alive with colour.
I bought a rose today, and from the store we stepped out into the day. I held the flower in the crook of my arm, the arms that once held you – softly but with enough strength for safety, securely without being too tight, lovingly to assure you were cared for. Together we walked the pathways through the forest where you and I used to go. It was fairly warm, not much wind, but the snow fell thick and heavy. The warmth of the day made the snow sticky; soft watery burrs attached themselves to everything. My red coat turned white. Even my black hat was almost hidden. And yet we continued on; the walk was easy for those who know the Way.
I bought a rose today, and together we sat on the rock and talked, of past memories, of defeats and challenges, joys and victories. Of time spent together, alive in each other’s company. Reminiscing is sometimes hard, but not hard to remember. We shared so many memories and I hope the good ones outnumbered the bad for you by at least twice. Maybe more. I know mine do.
I bought a rose today, and stood mid-calf while the water raged its icy fury at me, around me, beyond me. In the quiet I gave free rein to my sorrow, surprised only that there was still so much more to come. There must surely be tracks down my face by now. Snowflakes stung softly as they melted on my cheeks, and together we added our essence to the river. After a moment it seemed as though the rose was crying too. Gently I caressed the petals of your cheeks and wiped away the tears, adding them instead to my own. With great care I lay the rose on the water and within seconds the river whisked it away around a bend. I wonder where its destiny lay, or ours for that matter. Tomorrow is a bend in the river of our lives also. The flower rose high on the current, safe, at least for now. I looked for the rose on the way out, but it was gone. Maybe a branch would reach up through the water and claim the rose for its own. Maybe it would be buried by the rocks, held fast by the rapids. Or maybe, just maybe the rose would float free, carried by the currents and the waves until it reached the ocean.
I bought a rose today, and, as always, I thought of you.
Mike Pedde 02/04/2002