Today I need roses. There are none blooming on the apartment grounds, or on the street I wheel down each day just to hear the chatter of sparrows and to see what’s blooming in the two front yards I pass. I don’t go any further than this, too many strange angles for the motorized wheel chair, too few curb cuts. Perhaps practice and familiarity will make me braver as the summer progresses.

I used to be able to sit on my back porch and see this rose–Ali’s rose. I miss her and Lou and our conversations over the backyard fence, miss seeing Hector grow taller, sweeter and more independent each day.

Today I’m inside—it’s a rainy and soon-to-thunder May 31st, not at all like yesterday’s perfect afternoon at Edgewater Commons, where I shopped, then sat near the water reading the poetry of Mary Oliver. I saw a few rose bushes on the bus ride going and coming. It’s the season, after all, the end of May–so near my parents’ June 4th anniversary. Mom loved roses. We had both red and white ramblers for years before they grew out of control and Dad had to pull them out. He planted a succession of bushes in yellow, white and pink, before finally finding a Tropicana that bloomed all summer long and flourished, despite being transplanted time after time, when he re-landscaped the backyard.

Although Mom came to love the Tropicana she always wished for yellow, which was her favorite. Before they got married, when they both worked in Sears, she had an admirer who wrote; “I planted white, she wanted yellow, and now she’s the girl of the other fellow.”

Funny the things that stay, the memories that remain after so many years. Funny what the sight of roses can do. Today I needed roses. Thank you Ali.
From my friend Ali\'s garden

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