An unexpected gift

We had to remove an apple tree in our garden. Over the years it had grown much more than expected, and so a very old rose, nearly dead and hardly visible was forgotten in its shadow.
With the tree gone, the rose revived. It started to grow at the beginning of November, and now, a day before December, untouched by frost as yet, has fifteen gorgeous roses on it. A wondrous fragrance rises from them, warm and fragile, deep and beautiful – a scent I am sure only a winter rose can give, in celebration of survival, life, and the discovery of light even in dark and cold days.
My mother always told me when she came home from the war and the train carried her through a destroyed Germany, she saw a magnolia tree blooming undismayedly among the charred remains of crumbled houses. Whenever she got discouraged and lost hope and faith, she thought of that magnolia tree, and it gave her strength. Later, she planted one in our garden.
I think this winter rose will be a magnolia tree in my mind, though not the only one.



  1. A stunning gift of beauty in that rose and a wonderful gift of beauty in the story of the magnolia. Thank you.

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