The Power of the Rose

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I carefully checked the weather forecast last night to see how I could work outside – it looked terrible: pictures of black clouds and heavily outlined raindrops all over the place.

So today I have been trying to adjust my plans/ rethink the most productive way to spend my day.

Except that it has been quite sunny all morning, It is certainly windy and continually on the verge of rain – but I could  easily have carried out my original plan of going out into the countryside to work through some art ideas.


I just had to get out. I went and photographed the rose bush growing at the edge of the car park. It had caught my eye a day or so ago – sticking up through layers of gravel and tarmac, thrashing about in the wind, jammed up hard against the fence, amidst the usual noise and pollution of our civilisation –  and an array of glorious deep pinkish red roses, I was impressed!

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It reminded me of an oddly comforting passage in Robert Macfarlane’s  “The Wild Places“, where  he talks of “the sheer force of ongoing organic existence” and how it will outlive us. He writes that the wild will surely recover and take over the Earth once more, when we human beings have all long gone. ( It’s in the chapter called “Beechwood” near the end – p316 in my hardback version).

Admittedly my bush could not quite be called ‘wild’,  as yet – and I was touched that people had cultivated and planted this beauty, and whoever laid the concrete verge had left a space for the worm and the snail and the small weeds, the rain and the rosebush. 

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Then, seeing that it was still not yet raining, I went off home and did some much needed gardening work. Enjoyable, but not what I would have chosen. I felt hemmed in with domesticity. Half keeping an eye open for the forecast rainstorms. Half thinking I could be out in the open, elsewhere. I climbed up a ladder, looked around and scowled at the surrounding gardens and the backs of houses.

I tried to settle to admin jobs – updating website, preparing photos, and 101 little background tasks – what a bore! It took me ages, because my heart was not in it. Even more annoying – there was hardly any rain, all day. Apparently it rained in the next village – but not here!

A  frustrating day – that old, old familiar trapped feeling. It seems to have been following me around for ever.

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Tonight, late now, I remember the rose bush and my heart leaps with the power of life. I see it clearly in my minds eye – bursting from the concrete, its thin straggly branches waving vigorously, and its rosy red flowers exuberant in the harsh wind.

… reminding me I am free.

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About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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2 Responses to The Power of the Rose

  1. Thank you, Al. It was a vivid lesson for me, which I would not have had if things had gone according to plan! And I like “… if any,,,” in your response.


  2. Life will find a way which makes me fear less for the overall concept and more about what if any part we will play in its long tradition.


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