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Roses are Red, My Love

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Apr 12, 2005

Virginia is noted for glorious Springs, but March weather was so bad this year that Spring has burst upon us all at once in early April. My wife, Barbara, who requires her high school English classes to keep journals, reports that most students have at least one entry proclaiming that Spring is here.

Well it is, and I do not intend to apologize for it. The flowering trees and shrubs of the coastal plain and piedmont are, as they say, ablaze with color. Annual and perennial blooms toss their heads in the April breeze. The grass is greener, and not only on the other side. The sun shines. The days lengthen and warm. Life is good again.

Barbara, who is also a gardener, points out that it didn't have to be this way. God could have given us multi-colored bulbs which, once planted, would come up brown. Instead, He hid the brightest gifts in the plainest wrappers.

As the husband of a gardener (but not a gardener myself), I do my share of turning soil, digging holes, and lugging bags of feritlizer, mulch and other concoctions too risky to mention in the presence of tender Catholic readers. But Barbara does the planning and provides the daily care—the weeding, the repeated feedings, the watering, and the elimination of pests, whose name is legion.

The nature of flowers contains at least two lessons about all mankind. First, even the plainest wrappings contain incomparable gifts. Second, it takes a good deal of work to open the gifts. Potential is all around us, but too often we can't envision the blooms. How frequently do we uproot as weeds the marvellous plants we are supposed to tend!

Roses are red, my love. But not all the time, and perhaps not quite yet.

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