The roses wilt and I let them stay here, dying in the dingy vase by the winter-dirtied window. They sit on the food-stained tablecloth in the kitchen I have nested into comfortable beauty – it’s home with dirt and all. Because roses die lovely and I catch them in my quotidian busy, find in them a small sabbath while I labor.
May I die lovely, too. In the dingy vase of this imperfect life – full of pain and aches of still-not-getting-it, full of disasters most unnatural, winters that make my lenses foggy, too. When I miss the beauty in decomposing – didn’t he say he made all things new? I miss the way that vapor-life ends where New Life begins whole. And how I gestate here matters.
Because there is time to die well. And maybe a bucket list should look more like a thank-you card than a series of discontent. Maybe I’ll never live in the French countryside, but I’ll learn the language of giving thanks like there is tomorrow. Learn how to soak in every ray of sun through unwashed glass and turn my face to where it’s brightest.
These roses will end up back in the dirt soon. But their time wasn’t wasted here on my table while they wilted. Their value is hard to name, but I’ll wait to throw them out. My mind swirls with reasons to be, but maybe being is enough. The growing-blooming-wilting here bringing value to an Original Woman. Maybe God gets something out of our time on his food-stained tablecloth while all the beauty he’s created mingles with the dirt. While he sweeps and sorts and scrubs, maybe we catch his breath, too.
And Jesus pointed to flowers like these when he wanted to remind eager hearts that they were as worthy as they wanted to suspect. So I’m a student of the roses, and I hope I can wilt as well.