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Throughout history the simple rose, a beautiful fragrant flower, has been the source of much that has been written about life, love, beauty and fragrance.

Although the rose, like so much of nature’s gems, appears so defenseless against all of the elements of life, so easily crushed by these elements; roughly picked by less caring humans, she has a hardiness, known to many of her species, as they continue daily enduring to survive in their environment.

Reality would suggest though, that the rose, like many of her contemporaries, does not in fact struggle in her endeavors to survive, but rather that she happily lives her purpose in this life, facing whatever her environment presents to her and always awakens each morning, displaying her best, in order that she should be a delight to those that take a moment to set eyes upon her, admiring her beauty and drawing in her fragrance.

Over millennia, roses have been the symbol of many aspects of human life, but let’s just name two of these many, many aspects:  wars and at the opposite end of the pendulum swing, love.

In terms of war, a good example would be, the house of York (symbolized by a white rose) and the house of Lancaster (symbolized by a red rose) who fought a bitter conflict for control of the British throne in the 1400’s. This war lasted some 32 years!

In terms of love, who of us can tell even a tiny fraction of the wonderful stories surrounding romantic love affairs that had a rose connection?

A peek at the Victorian times, when the ‘Language of Love’ was in full swing and roses played a very prominent part in this newly practiced language, will offer some good old fashioned ideas that could hot up your contemporary love lives. Read Marye Audet’s article to discover how to do this – you will be truly tickled!

Then, there was Edith Piaf, France’s darling Chanteuse, who made famous her song – “La Vie en Rose” probably a good modern translation would be: ‘life as seen through rose tinted spectacles”. In post war France the lyrics of which song, brought the joy of finding true love to the great appeal of millions who had suffered much because of the war years.

My favorite will always be the coquettish little rose, love of the Little Prince, a character in Antoine St. Exupéry’s, book “The Little Prince”. The little rose, who was housed in a glass dome, to protect her from harmful elements was dearly loved by the Prince. She symbolized Antoine’s love of his wife, Consuelo De Saint-Exupéry.

It is said by some, that a rose never blossoms under a tree. I’m not sure if this is a botanical fact, but I do know that roses must have good light to truly blossom; so under trees would not be a good space for them. The roses in our garden bask daily in the summer sunshine provided by our wonderful South African climate.

Take a tip from me: Find out who, among your friends, has ‘Double Delight’ roses in their garden, or if your friends don’t have – go to a nursery that does.

Now, put the tip of your nose, checking first that there is no prior visitor inside the blossom, close to that delightful soft pinky-white petal and breathe-in slowly through your nose; all the while, keeping your eyes and ears closed.

You will, for the first time in your life, understand what it means to, “Stop and smell the roses”.

Lastly, let me leave you with this thought.

We are all roses and are beautiful in our own unique way; we must not hide under trees, but rather come out into the light, where we can blossom to the full and be instruments of the fragrance of our love to one another, whilst we still have time here in this earthly garden.

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