A rose is blooming in my little yard this spring, reminding me of history and of hope.
As long as I can remember spring has been welcomed with the blooming of this same bright red rose. It’s a true survivor with a history far longer than my own.
This little bush once grew at my great-grandmother’s home and later moved to my grandmother’s.
Many years ago my own mother transplanted a portion of it to the home where I grew up.
We sold that house last year and today it shelters another growing family, but before we said goodbye we brought that family rose home with us to our own special place here in Booneville.
I fondly remember my mother’s excitement each spring when those first blooms would appear on the bush.
I didn’t understand it then, but I think I do now.
That little flower is more than just a spot of color among the green of springtime’s glory. It’s more than a sweet fragrance and a pretty picture. It’s a living memory.
My mother has been gone nearly two years now but when I see that rose bloom I remember her smile and her laughter and for a moment I’m a bit closer to her love.
Mom was much like that rose, a beautiful heart but also one shaped by hardship and challenges. She never led an easy life and the challenges and trials she struggled with and overcame made her who she was. She was a person who could find beauty and joy amidst the worst of times and in her darkest moments often found a way to make others smile.
I can’t begin to imagine all the times that rose has seen since it first began growing all those decades ago but I know it’s been through darker times than these. Today the path forward often seems difficult to find. The calendar may show spring, but in our hearts the clouds and cold of winter often take over.
My rose goes dormant each fall and winter. It retreats into itself and its beautiful flowers are replaced with only brown stem and gray wood, yet stored within is the power to create beauty that comes forth each spring.
I believe we’re in that place now. Though the days may seem dark and frightening, our own spring is coming.
Better days are ahead and the day will come when we’ll all bloom once again.
Brant Sappington is managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, the Banner-Independent, in Booneville and a longtime member of the Daily Corinthian news team where he continues to serve as assistant editor.