I’m not sure how many people reflect and write about things they think about while doing garden work. I however, tend to tune out all of the thoughts that don’t matter and sync myself with the task at hand. Perhaps a bit more exactly, in this case, the history of the task at hand.
I have a little rose bush beside my front stoop. For the past 2 years it has produced beautiful red roses. It has survived bitter winter cold, too many blizzards to count and my rather gregarious pruning.
My husband would be perfectly pleased to let the thing die or dig it up and destroy it. I on the other hand, find an inherent value knowing it was possibly original to the property.
In my eyes, I can see someone’s loving hands planting this very rose bush. Tending to it, likely with much more knowledge and proper care than I have given it. It could have been a gift, a treasure, a hobby of a person who may have passed on from this life. Someone, who has trod every footstep covering this soil, just as I am doing now.
This, is part of their legacy. A mark of where they’ve been, what they once accomplished and admired.
As I remove long dead and partially decayed thorny twigs, I can’t help but wonder if those very hands touched what I am carefully taking away. Did they once gather the petals to make tinctures or rose oils as I do now? Was this bush admired by visitors upon arriving and departing? Were they sad to leave it behind?
I recall hearing a story from the family who originally built and lived in this home. There was a long row of roses once planted on this property. The mother had loved her roses and the father dutifully tended them. From afar, I cherish how special that love must have been.
Some may think that a legacy boils down to what is remembered and the family left behind. I’m here to tell you, a legacy can also be seen in so many facets of my home. From the apple and apricot trees, the old coop, the random piece of scrap metal or shard of pottery I find in my garden. And yes, even this old rose bush.
Sadly, this is the only rose left on the farm. I’m happy to have it here and so grateful for the beautiful, albeit, imagined memories it has sprouted within my mind. The fact that this rose bush is still here, begs me to realize that our dream is not unique. Before this farm became my dream or my husband’s dream, it was someone else’s.