Roses are Red, Choices are Ours to Make


A heart broken in two, a heart shattered, a heart beating in uncertainty.   A heart standing at a crossroads – turn right, straight, or left the quandary.   A heart gripped in fear, a heart fighting hard to push above despair’s weight.  A heart hidden, a heart panicked, a heart with doubt in the lead over faith.  

A heart with scars, a heart that knows life is a dance of joy and of pain.  A heart that has walked up to forks in the road holding a right hand of fear and the left of brave.   A heart that has flowed rivers of tears under the warmth of the sun’s bright rays.  Some tear drops have started from laugher and others sparked by dismay.   A heart that has leaned in and at other times leaned away.

This isn’t about one heart’s story; this is about each person on life’s journey.  It is about moments in time and choices we make.   It is about our actions and reactions and perspectives we take.  It is about the steps we take, or not, when life taps us on the shoulder unexpectedly.    It is about the folding up or the unfolding we do when life interjects tragedy.   

It lay on the paving stones, no longer part of the wreath.   Unless one were looking down, it wouldn’t be seen.   Captivated by it, I took the picture in black and white.   Yet, that wasn’t doing justice to why this rose first caught my eye.   The second photo captured the vibrant red this rose displayed.  And then I thought about my recent witness to profound grace.     Through some dear souls’ losses, I have observed their elegant strength, despite, or perhaps because of, their immense pain.   They are like the rose in red as they walk with grief.    These dear souls are being beacons for others despite their deep hurting. 

The purple roses were buds in the vase, the petals tightly held in place.   The buds began to unfold into fullness without their attachment to a vine.  They were choosing to flourish even though they were now inside.   Each day they opened a little more to their new surroundings.    Each petal’s shift enhancing the lavender beauty.    Detached from their stemmed base outside, yet their choice to still thrive.  

When at a crossroads or sitting in the darkest of nights, choice can seem elusive and options hard to find.  What is seen ahead can feel more like the rose in white and black, foggy or gray as uncertainty stares back.    Yet, in those moments perhaps we can reach out our hand to that rose and bring it closer to our eyes.   As we bring it into view, is there a different color we begin to find?  Can we begin to glimpse the red instead of the slate we currently see?    Or, perhaps if we look further we will discover, like the purple rose buds, our own beautiful unfolding.   

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