Dropping Petals

I’ve been collecting rose petals all summer long in this vintage gallon jar. Only one rose grows in my garden and its a fragrant one with deep, dark, velvety red petals. When looking across the stretch of greenbelt, my neighbor’s roses often wink and wave at me, growing tall in vibrant shades of pink, coral, yellow, and white. Every now and again I’m invited to come and gather some for myself. I did that yesterday and as I assembled a beautifully varied selection of full blown roses, the white icebergs I’d chosen began to drop, petal by petal, as I turned to go back home.

Always contemplative and looking to gain insight, I pondered the symbolic meaning of the falling petals. Is it a sign of something past its time? Something dead or dying? The poem quoted by Robin Williams in the movie “Dead Poets Society,“ came to mind,

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying,

And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.

While I love that verse of poetry it wasn’t quite what was forming in my mind. The flowers I was carrying resembled a bride’s bouquet. This bunch of fresh cut blooms resembled not only the Bride’s bouquet but, simultaneously, the flower girl tossing her petals along the path.

We all, at one time or another, can be the representative of love, hope, and new beginnings. We can also be the innocent, often shy child, who goes before, dropping petals of beauty and fragrance in the paths of others. Dropping petals . . .