No.11 - On roses

A while back, I was listening to a podcast where the interviewee talked about an activity they do with their kids called rose, rose, thorn, bud. You go around the group, and each person mentions two things that were great about the day (roses), one thing they need to complain or vent about (thorn), and one thing theyre looking forward to (bud). It reminded me of some coaching I received as a teen about looking forward and the importance of projecting present Success into the future. I love that it creates conversation around the dinner table (that's when we choose to do the exercise) and that I am (hopefully, subtly) instilling a valuable practice in my kids that no matter the day, even if there is more than one thorn, roses are abundant and will continue to be so tomorrow. So this week. with Mothers Day approaching, I have both literal and figurative roses on my mind.


Roses evoke a sense of beauty. elegance. opulence, love. Their scent is both uplifting and grounding, their petals calming and healing for the heart. Come mid-May, watch for our native Nootka roses to start blooming along the hiking path. Perhaps take a moment to pause and look into their showy pink petals, meet a bee or two, and take a deep breath to calm the mind and comfort your heart.


Although we think ot roses as tender, beautiful things, they have a quiet strength and tenacity. My roses have survived our -140C winter snap with grace and poise. It is believed that the oldest rose bush in the world is over 1000 years old. Having climbed up the side of the Hildesheim Cathedral, which was built in the year 815, this rose tree has persevered. When the cathedral was bombed in 1945, the tree also burned to the ground, but shoots grew up out of the rubble and it continues to bloom every May as it climbs up the rebuilt church, persevering with each passing season. reaching for the sun.


Although the oldest known living rose is 1000 years old. roses appear in texts from Mesopotamia dating back about 5000 years. Roses have been used for all kinds of ailments for millennia, appearing in naturalist writings and medicinal texts dating back to the Hittites of Anatolia (1600-1180 BCE, where we now call Turkey). In The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper devotes significant space to roses. My favourite section is 'The distilled Water of Roses, Vinegar of Roses, Ointment, and Oil of Roses, and the Rose leaves dried, are of great use and effect. To write at large of every one of these, would make my book smell too big, it being sufficient for a volume of itself, to speak fully of them. But briefly, the Electuary is purging, whereof two or three drams taken by itself in some convenient liquor, is a purge sufficient for a weak constitution. but may be increased to six drams, according to the strength of the patient." He then goes on to wrap it up 'quickly' in another 1,122 words. Suffice to say, then as now. roses are a beautiful addition to our lives for well-being, whether it be to bask among them and take in their fragrance or drink their essence in a tea. Join me in raising a teacup to the not-so-humble rose.

One more thing...

"Tell her you care, each time you speak,

Make it her birthday each day of the week,

Bring her nice things, sugar and spice things,

Roses and lollipops,

And lollipops and roses .

- Tony Velona

Until next time,

Steep Calm.


No.11 - On roses
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