Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

The Last Rose of Summer

Posted on | July 24, 2011 | No Comments

July is coming to an end and, with it, my rose bushes are apparently abdicating their elegant composure; turning inwards, they prepare for the hardships of winter. Filled with opposing emotions, I have witnessed their extravagance dim day after day; today at last I must face the obvious: there is but one rose left in my garden. What should I do with it?

I cannot leave it alone to face its fate; I appreciate the symbolic aspects, the metaphor, even when it borders on the romantic cliché. It is neither the prettiest, nor the more colourful, but it is the last: this solitary flower deserves a worthy exit.

Who shall I choose? Friends, mistresses and loves of the past : would this nostalgia be welcomed? Would you see shadier intentions behind such a gesture, unresolved issues? Of the present: it would have been necessary to be by my side to grasp
this fleeting moment. Future: who knows what kind of trick I would have played unto destiny? Fate can be touchy; a scratch could unleash it against you.

Should I favour instead a chaste family offering? Alas my mother and eldest sister live hundreds of kilometres away. My younger sister however just gave birth to my niece. Still, is it really a good idea to make her discover, so early in life, that every rose has its thorn?

Let’s see instead who lives in my immediate surroundings. There is this retired neighbour, visited by her son on occasions. I sometimes see her during the winter, clearing the snow off her porch and making a small alleyway to reach the street. I have at times shovelled her driveway to spare her the effort. I sometimes wonder when the last time she has been offered a rose was. I am
tempted, yet uncertain: the last flower from a declining rose bush may not be a proper gift…

The more I think about it, the more the unique character of this offering bars all potential recipients. Yet the need to give gets ever stronger. Eventually the choice becomes clear. This rose, with a few of its leaves, has found its way into a small glass tube, carefully lain under the setting sun. On the corner of my front lawn, for all passers-by to see, free to the first person who will be willing to pick it up. I am not only offering it to the hands of this person, I have now dedicated it to the imagination of all witnesses, of all my readers.

Ultimately I could not share this rose with only one person – it is now a gift for each and every one of you.

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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

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