Willingness to Give Something



For a long time
     I was not even
        in this world, yet
           every summer

every rose
     opened in perfect sweetness
        and lived
           in gracious repose,

in its own exotic fragrance,
     in its huge willingness to give
        something, from its small self,
           to the entirety of the world...
~Mary Oliver from “The Poet Visits The Museum of Fine Arts


This time of year, I go out to our flower garden twice a week and pick several fresh rosebuds for the bud vase on our kitchen table.  This feels like a luxury to interrupt the natural unfolding of a blossom simply so it can be enjoyed indoors for a few days.  Yet “its huge willingness to give something” grants me permission to do this.  I am consoled that there will be more buds where those came from.  The blooms will continue to grace our table until October when the first hard frost will sap them of all color and fragrance, leaving them deadened knots of brown curled petals.  They give no more for seven long months.

I wait impatiently for that first spring bud to appear, forcing myself to wait several weeks before I begin rosebud harvesting.  Although roses from the florist may be perfect color and long lasting,  they are neither as sweet nor their scent as exotic as those growing in the soil right under our windows.

It is a wee joy receiving this humble gift from the garden.  It is enough that a rosebush in gracious repose gave its small self long before I was and will continue long after me.   I hope I am as willing to give something from my small self during my time here, and may it ever be as sweet.



5 thoughts on “Willingness to Give Something

  1. Like the fragile beauty of the rose, when we too give of ourselves to others it seems that the opportunities multiply exponentially, bringing increasing joy and purpose to our life….an example of the ever-giving font of love that He is….

    Thank you, Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When we give from our heart, we receive in return, both in great, & sometimes small ways, multiple blessings & favor!!😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily, I wish I could smell your roses. None of them around here have fragrance anymore. Thank you for giving of yourself so often and so steadily.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never had roses on The Farm. I tried several – well actually – many years ago, but too labor intensive to keep them bug free, etc, etc.
    When I got to container gardening here at our new location, the last plant I bought was a rose. Lovely blooms and lovely fragrance encouraged me to buy and try again.
    Yes, a single bud in a teeny tiny salt shaker converted to bud vase has graced our table. Beauty for the eye and a blessing for the nostrils…our God is so good.


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