As I looked back through some of my roses bloom smile captures of this year, I took a look back at this year and even took a look back a bit further. This year saw my wife and I making the decision to down size. It was time to leave the big house with all those stairs. It was way past time to get into a smaller, ranch style home with far less stairs to deal with. In doing so I had to leave my rose beds at the other place behind, along with our wildflower garden and other flower and veggie gardens. In our hunt for a new place to call home I wanted to be sure and have at some area for some roses and flowers to enjoy. Well we were able to find just such a place. The dwelling itself had been very well cared for by the previous owner too. There were several rosebushes here already but not a one of them had any identification as to what their names were. I did manage to find one name tag during the Spring clean up. Good thing too as she was a real puzzler to find out her name! I was delighted to find that one of the rosebushes was indeed Peace. An older well established bush that had not been well cared for in a while, a bit of pruning out of the old dead canes and some good food and water and she came shining through with many a pretty bloom smile. It was a nice experience to see each one bloom and then go about identifying each one. Some just did not perform well and thus towards the end of the season they were removed, giving me some spots for other roses that I have enjoyed in the past or some new ones I always wanted to meet in person.
I truly grew up in rose beds/gardens as I helped my grandmothers and mother tend to their roses. Those memories are some of my earliest good memories. They each had some different ways of doing things and also some that were totally the same. The loving care I witnessed them give their roses and the soul re-charging joy they got from their roses embedded itself deep within my heart and soul. My mother still to this day gets the most beautiful smile on her face talking about the roses and enjoys my photo captures of them very much. My father was a good farmer for much of his life and enjoyed it. One of his other enjoyments in life was photography. I not only grew up learning about farming of various types but also got to spend some time with him working with the cameras of the day and seeing how things turned out in his own little darkroom. Call me weird but I enjoyed the smells of the darkroom, the various trays of chemicals that the photo papers were dipped in to bring the captures to life and such still stroll back across my sense of smell and jog my memories to this day. Dad taught me a lot about not just taking a picture but also looking for that special angle and that special lighting that is always there, if a person is just willing to do what it takes to capture it.
It all really comes together in a personal enjoyment of art. There is a form of art in every rose and flower bloom smile, in many different scenes of nature that we walk right by on a daily basis. Capturing and sharing each work of art in such a way as to catch it at its finest viewing moment is likened to holding your baby for the first time. The chills of delight hit you hard and run soul deep! The neat thing is, each time you behold those captures the chill of delight returns. That is what every true artist hopes for in their work. My favorite artist to behold his work is my own Father God. He allows me to behold many beautiful works each moment of each day of each month and year.
I know there are some that I miss and that is sad, we all miss some and I am sure that saddens him as well. But oh the delight and chills when we do catch the beauty of his works of art, mere tiny probably microscopic bits of what Heaven is. Thus I look back with some delightful memories as I look at the many bloom smiles I have beheld and captured to enjoy over and over again. All tempered with just a small touch of sadness over those things the events of life’s path did not allow me the time or attitude to enjoy.
As I look forward to the end of another year and the beginnings of another year, I will be focusing hard on trying not to miss very many of the works of art Father God puts forth for my viewing pleasure, and the soul re-charging it is meant to bring. In the coming year I have made the decision to change up my path of life to take some steps back as well. Back to the times of just growing, caring for and photographing the roses and flowers bloom smiles of my wife and I’s gardens here at our new to us place, just like I used to do many years ago with those whom touched my life deeply during those times along this path of life. I will still help others with their rose growing, selection and care questions as I maintain my ties to some gardening websites as their on-staff Consulting Rosarian. The limited monies I have to spend will no longer go towards paying dues to national and local rose societies or other interest groups as that takes away from the money available to buy new roses and plants, as well as the fertilizers and soils amendments needed to keep them all healthy and happy. One has to stop and realize that a piece of paper with your name upon it saying that you are a Certified Consulting Rosarian does not mean that you do not know anything about properly growing them without it. There are many folks, some that I know well personally, that have never had any paper certificates yet know enough about caring for roses to fill many books! There are good means available today to share knowledge with others, to share the beauty beheld with others. Social media like Facebook, interactive gardening websites and maintaining a personal website allow for sharing of knowledge and photographic works of art. Times do indeed change and we all change as well. For instance, it gives me a bit of a laugh to think of the changes over the years in types of cameras and how easy it has gotten to work with the photos. I am sure you will agree with me on this.
So my friends 2014 for this old rose man will be a rebirth of sorts. Stepping back to take a new approach forward is not a bad thing. It allows one the time to reflect on what has worked and what is truly broken. It allows one to walk the path around that brick wall instead of continuing to bang your head against it. The hurts administered by that brick wall are not the fault of the wall but indeed are self inflicted! I am looking forward to enjoying the beautiful works or art bloom smiles of the new roses and plants my wife and I bring to our gardens and rose beds this coming year. A new yet old approach at things should make for a nice stroll along the path of life, not only with my dear wife of many years, but also those whom either choose to walk there with me for a ways or by chance find the same path.
I wish you all well in your walks along this path of life in all ways, always.