Within the Heart of the Rose

In a small cell inside the Abbey walls, meditating deep within the heart of the rose, I hear the piper call and know I must follow. But not now. Although others may leave before me, I feel no need to hurry. “Linger awhile,” a voice whispers, “then begin where you are, you are not behind.”

I breath deeply and inhale the scent of one of the heirloom roses grown in a corner of the Abbey’s herb garden, a rose, the Abbess says, was once nurtured by Marie Antoinette in Malmaison. I hold the blossom cupped in both hands and with my eyes closed picture the pure, white petals, and feel the satiny softness of the bud as it cocoons my body. Here I find no joyful or sorrowful memories, no dreams or fears for the future, only the pleasure and comfort of the living moment. I rest.

Soon–is it a minute, an hour, or a day? I can’t say, but far in the distance the music plays again and I know it’s time to leave the rose behind. Oreo, who was curled at my feet when I began the meditation now twines about my legs, tail held high, alert and ready for adventure. Tookey, my Amazon parrot paces the window ledge, then glides down to my shoulder. The notes of the piper fill the room and we walk through the keyhole arch to begin our new adventure.