Someone in decades past had fun planting a score of rosebushes in his suburban front yard, and in spite of severe neglect they are still surviving. That is what I found on my first Rose Walk in one of the several neighborhoods around my house.
This place was at the end of a long cul-de-sac, and it was the glimpse of a very tall and wide plant covered with white blooms that drew me down that street, as I guessed from a distance that it was a rose bush.
It turned out to be two rose bushes, and the largest of the plantings in the front yard of what appeared to be a rental, unkempt and unmaintained as it was. I took a slew of pictures, hoping no one would open the front door in anger at my invasion of their privacy. It might be a drug house for all I know. But it was early in the morning, a time when evildoers are most likely to be sleeping. I hoped.
I kept thinking about the lesson for all of us, how we never know how the fruits of our labors might ripple out and go on blessing the world long after we have planted a good seed or crawled out of bed early in the morning to put the hose on our rosebush. The applications of this truth are limitless, and the sweetest-smelling blooms must be the ones cultivated in secret prayer.
How can these disregarded plants get by in a place where no one is looking out for them and where no rain falls all summer? Maybe there is a leaky pipe somewhere, or water traveling underground from next door. Their roots may now be going so far into the earth that they’ve found deep wells to drink from and can take care of themselves.
Not any human hands, but only the frost and disease have been pruning them, so that overall they look pretty scraggly, but on every plant I found many lovely and fragrant, even pristine roses. Dear Lord, thank you for keeping these bushes alive! And could You somehow pass on my appreciation to the people who were through the years your assistant gardeners?