Beauty – 6/10/2022
One of my wife’s favorite flowers is a yellow rose. We have a newly planted one in our yard. It was a retirement gift for her from the staff at Our Lady of Lourdes School where she had been teaching for the past twenty-plus years. I was skeptical to say the least as I have a proven ‘wilted thumb’ when it comes to growing roses. But I planted it anyway in a newly landscaped area of the yard with much care and much doubt. To my surprise it has had a number of new blooms already. The flowers are delicate and intricate and perfumed.
This morning I noticed on my walk that the wild roses have begun to bloom in the roadside ditches. They are much less visible there than the one in our yard. The only people who will possibly notice them are those who will walk by in the next two weeks – the duration of their season. Appropriately enough, the wild roses are a true rose or pinkish red. From that aspect they are rather unique and that helps to catch the watchful eye as it seems that about 90 percent of all wild flowers are various shades of yellow. The wild rose flowers are much smaller and simpler than the domestic rose; just five petals form the flower. The scent is delicate and faint.
Each of the roses, both domestic and wild, are beautiful in their way. Each invites the willing heart to ponder that beauty. Is there meaning in beauty? Is there purpose in beauty? Is beauty random or planned?
Beauty appeals to the eye. It demands to be noticed once discovered. The fact that the wild roses in particular are hidden from most people, should give pause to the one fortunate enough to notice them. Was it happenstance that I saw them on my morning walk, or grace? The status of your heart determines your own answer to the question.
If you are prone to pause and contemplate the beauty of a rose, aren’t you then acting as one invited? And if you are invited, what are you being invited into? Again, the openness of your heart determines the extent of your invitation. You could simply pause to regard the beauty of the flower and go on. This is like the heart that claims to love art for the sake of art. Or, you can consider not just the creation, but also the Creator. The beauty of the flower in such hearts serves as the means to communion with the transcendent.
The beauty in the rose, the beauty in the world reminds us that while the world and those in it are fallen, we are not abandoned; we are not forgotten. We are loved still. We are loved always.