Friday, July 2, 2010

La Belle Rose

It was just a spindly little stick in the dirt in a small pot when I bought it from a garage sale last winter. I didn’t expect it to be alive, but the pot belonged to a set that would look well on my patio and so I brought it home and left it sitting outside on my workbench, unattended until spring arrived. And then I saw a few very small green leaves slowly unfold from that spindly stick. I cut back the stick, added some water and fertilizer, set the pot in the sunshine, and waited.

I replanted it a month ago when it was only a few inches high. The rose that developed was a gift, an unexpected surprise, a survivor against all odds. It has, more than any of my other patio plants, grown rapidly until it is now about two feet high. And from a spindly stick has sprung beautiful creamy blossoms, some tinged with pink, others not.

In places, the leaves are a little the worse for wear, but then so was my Belle. She was beautiful in her own sweet, frail, arthritic way – such a funny looking little sheltie when she came to me, skinny with just a light dusting of thin fur. And, like the rose, she filled out and her fur became lush and beautiful despite a continuing frailty to her bones and body. As an example of the sheltie breed, she may not have won any prizes for conformation, but her spirit was strong - just like the little stick that became a bushy though imperfect plant.

And so last evening I spread Belle’s ashes around the roots of that creamy, persistent rose. I know not the actual name of this particular rose, but for me it shall be La Belle Rose.

It is a beautiful little rose. And Belle was a beautiful little dog.

I miss her.

(Note: I was just in the process of posting this when I received a call that my 90-something year old mom was found unconcious this morning and has been taken to hospital in serious condition. I was going to add pics of Belle to the post, but I'm off to catch the next ferry. Ironically, my mom's name is Rose.)


EvenSong said...

La Belle Rose. How apropos.
No need for photos--Belle's sweet face is etched in our minds.
Hope your Mom is okay. I know she will appreciate your being there. Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about your Mom Jean - let me know.

Caroline said...

sending strong ((((((((Hugs)))))))) your way.

Anonymous said...

What a fitting tribute to a sweet, fiesty Princess. I won't ever look at a cream-coloured rose without thinking of Belle. Thank you.

My thoughts are with you and your mom.

Deb S.

Black Jack's Carol said...

The evergreen for Oliver and the rose for Belle. Just perfect, Jean. Their spirits will live on, each one unique in the joy they brought to you and your readers.

Sending good thoughts to you and your mother!

Anonymous said...

Now you made me cry. About Belle. And I didn't know about your Mom and I'm very sorry and hope all will be well.

La Belle Rose. Lovely. As Belle was. I miss her and still can't believe she's gone.