I am surrounded by roses. So many, that I many not see this many again in my home on this side of life. It was my birthday, as you remember, and the lingering beauty sent to remind me of a moment in the hospital with Mom long ago, is just beginning its swan song. These are only a few of the four beautiful rose arrangements sent to me by my oldest friend, Dori. I posted two pictures because the intro photo has to change but I wanted them to live on somewhere.
Soon they will go by and I will have to be on the lookout for more fresh flowers (for those of you who are nodding and thinking I am on my way to the cemetery to gather blooms tomorrow should be advised, not everything I learned in childhood survived into adulthood, gratefully). The farmers market here does not carry much in the way of cut flowers. This kind of thing never was an issue before because I grew all manner of roses. I love rose gardens, firstly, but I also never found myself without flowers for my house.
The world around my rose bushes and I changed: We moved from Boston and I was forced to leave six strong, vibrant rose plants behind. That nearly killed me. As the last year has progressed, I felt it was more important to plant food staples and see to it they are successful. The fuel crisis is one thing looming, the food crisis, while related, is an entirely different and an entirely more dire potential tidal wave. If you had to, you could bike or take public transportation to work. But there is no alternative to food. My kid needs it. In my spare time, I do two things: Subsistence garden and write for you and I and her: This is where she will find the recipes, safe from fire and fuel issues, of all the things her Mom made for her. Both the food that goes into her, and the food she will one day grow and make are crucial. Crucial enough that her Mother needs to take a lead in subsistence on her behalf.
It is with a bit of wistful mistiness that I tell you I miss flowers painfully. Every inch of every gardens in our care, borders, paths, and all, is under a food-yielding plant. The borders are squash, mint, pumpkin, or strawberry. The former flower urns hold fruit trees and peppers. So, it was with great joy I received flowers this year, more than ever before.
The right thing to do often makes your heart weaken a little, doesn't it? I should have been shored up by the arugula salad I made for lunch, reminded, as I was by Leah over at Wine Imbiber, how very much I love fresh arugula especially when I grew it. But several hours have passed now and I am still passing Dori's roses wishing they could stay forever.
My mind is on other roses as well. In Westchester, tomorrow will bring the Old Salem Grand Prix. A lot of faces I love will be there: Jennifer, surely Wendy, and Ward, those lovely kids who would follow Jen to the end of the earth and a million sun-drenched faces I came up with in the horsey genre. I cannot tell you how I anticipate the champagne and roses, the warm sun on our shoulders on the hill, and that distractingly lovely buffet they serve in the tent next to the Grand Prix ring. My hometown kid, McLain Ward, won his 100th Grand Prix there last year and we were there to cheer for him as we have been since we were all pals as children(that's good stuff, I don't care who you are). Boy, that must of felt good for him for a whole list of reasons. I hope he's in the roses again tomorrow.
Anyway, this is a note of missing-all-the-glorious-flowers, which entirely overshadow how great that arugula salad probably truly was. Note to all concerned: Arugula does not patch spot where best friends and our greatest memories have been missed. Roses though, are a warming and pleasing consolation.