Knock Outs & Come Backs

I destroyed some rose bushes last week. And my hands, in the process.

We haven’t been the best with yard upkeep. We neglected our knock-outs into jungle-hood, and truth be told I still don’t know the names of all (any of) the other plants growing on our property, let alone how to care for them.  Therefore every time a neighbor drives by I assume they are shaking their head at the useless inhabitants of yellow Charleston.

What is happening with your day lilies, Frederick’s? (10 legit minutes googling “plant with yellow flowers” to remember they are called day lilies) And let’s be serious about that evergreen unibrow in front of the porch. Those were once 6 separate bushes! 

There are far more important things in life than impeccable landscape, I know. But it’s hard not to be self-conscious when your skill deficit is on display for all to see.

So for weeks Ron and I debated the best time/proper way to cut the rose bushes back. (Our very academic online research yielded different results.) Finally, one afternoon when Ron left for an IU game and Enzo was taking a late nap, I grabbed gloves and shears and started hacking like a mindless madwoman.

10 trash bags full of rose debris later. They could use some more shaping but whatever. I also did trim out the mini bushes a little. They are by no means the size they should be but they are no longer a unibrow. (Left side of photo) Which is good because clearly we already have a power brow, on the right.

The thorns broke through the thick barriers covering my hands, over and over again. More than once I contemplated torching the stupid things. Burning them to the ground and starting over in the Spring, with something decidedly less devilish. I didn’t. Primarily due to the immense likelihood I would bring the house down with them. But also because despite my frustration, I love roses. They’re pretty, they smell nice, and they make for good metaphors. 

Knockout roses bloom, die, and come back. Annually, + 2-3 times a season (for us anyway). While in bloom, they are so beautiful it’s easy to forgive their flaws. But if you aren’t looking at the whole picture, and you walk by during a dormant moment, you might wonder why on earth someone would plant vicious sticks in their yard.

Emphasis on the VICIOUS.

This journey to family has had more than it’s share of death and dormancy. (1 in 4 recognized pregnancies may end in miscarriage, but those odds aren’t evenly distributed. Many women I know have either had no miscarriages, or more than one.) And at times it has filled my mind with thorns. Loss may not be my fault, but the fact remains: two babies have lived and then died inside my body. Brevity of pregnancy doesn’t negate the impact of such an ugly, stabby truth. 

So sometimes when I look in the mirror, see pregnant women, or talk to God, fear, shame, and questioning break through the barrier divine trust has placed around my heart. Like spikes, breaking through my gloves.

In those moments I try to remember the bigger picture. 

Our Creator designed knock-out roses, and humans, to be resilient. We were not built to quit. So I continue forward, my splinter filled fingers holding tightly to the sparkly, hope-filled truth that this too, will pass. And when it does, when everything comes together, the beauty will be blinding.

I pray if you’re also in a season where you feel like you’re just standing around, all chopped down and ugly, you’ll join me in hope. Winter only lasts awhile, and it is always followed by Spring. <3

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Pay no mind to the diseased leaves.

Circa May 2016. A terrible quality picture, and not nearly as unruly as they were this year. But if you saw them in full bloom, in person, I guarantee you’d find them captivating. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *