Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thirsty Like the White Rose

For Valentine's Day, like many women, I received a dozen red roses from my freshly ex-boyfriend (we had made our breakup official earlier that day).

Horrible I know.

Unlike most women, I hate receiving flowers, especially the cliched bouquet of roses, but, not being one who likes wasting money, I took those ProFlowers roses to school/work, dutifully filled up the accompanying red vase with water and followed the instructions, which detailed how to prepare the flowers.

They lasted a week.

Still, the vase was full of plant-food-laced water. The perfect metaphor for a relationship that refused to nourish itself with the readily available ingredients vital for sustaining life: open communication, honesty, respect, and trust.
Not even a day after receiving the red roses, a student brought me three white roses. I placed them in a smaller separate vase filled with water slightly tinged with plant food, the same food given to the red roses.
The rest of the week flew by and the weekend did too. Upon my return to work, I noticed the red roses wilted a bit but the white roses appeared healthy, despite having devoured every drop of water that was in their vase. I gave them more water but a few days later the vase was, again, bone dry. 

By this time, the red roses had died so I dumped them unceremoniously in the trash and transferred the three white roses into the red vase, which was still quite full of water. But not for long.

Those three white roses drained that big red vase of all fluid in less time than it took the red roses to die. Those three roses wanted to live. Those three little roses fought to live and refused to die. Even now, nearly two months later, they stand in that desert-like vase just as proud as the day they first went in, their petaled heads dried, not a sign of droop-age.
For a while now, I've been a red rose, my shoulders drooping under the weight of living, my head bowed before my burdens. But, today, when I looked at that trio of roses, I realized two things 1) I forgot to give them water and 2) I need be more like the white roses, fighting for life, soaking in all life has to offer, refusing to bow even when no one is there to give me what (I think) I need.

It's time I got thirsty like the white rose.


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