A Rose in the Shadows

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!
Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways . . .
In all poor foolish things that live a day,
Eternal beauty wandering on her way.
“To the Rose upon the Rood of Time” by William Butler Yeats (1893)

I took the photo below on the side of my apartment building. I had to bend down to snap it, having nearly passed it by in my haste to get to my car. But a flash of red had caught my eye, and I discovered a rose almost hidden in the shadows—a little bit of beauty to brighten my day.


More than once my father has advised me to slow down and pay attention to life. Otherwise, by rushing through it, I might miss the tiny bursts of beauty and wonder along the way.

It’s like the old saying: “Stop and smell the roses.” You’ve heard it and you understand it. But do you also think about the people, animals, or items you almost pass by—little pockets of beauty begging to be noticed? Like the child who offers you a shy smile at the grocery store. Or your beaming four-year-old who stops you on your way to work just to hand you a hard-to-decipher drawing made just for you. Or how about your elderly uncle or aunt whose nuggets of wisdom are sometimes discounted by others but seldom wrong? And what about that bird whose song wakes you up in the morning—a concert you get free each day? Unlike the rose by my apartment building, you can’t see it. The early morning shadows keep it hidden away. But you can listen and be inspired. While you’re at it, you might as well take in the sunrise—nature’s daily fireworks free of charge.


Do your soul a favor. Stop. Look. Listen. You never know when you might find a rose hidden in the shadows.


Sunrise photo from wallpaprer.com.

25 thoughts on “A Rose in the Shadows

  1. Yes, yes, yes! (I’ve just had a cyber-orgasm). I found two orchids growing on a patch of waste ground yesterday. Such a delight to notice things. The more we have, the less we see. The less we see, the less we be.

      • Yes, we get quite a few rare species in this part of the UK. One was a Lizard orchid, the other, I’m still trying to identify. But I think it’s a Fragrant Orchid. I’ll email you a pic.

  2. Very poignant and true. Not sure why that second word is stuck in my head. Anyway, it’s kind of a shame that we seem to be rushing more and more as the years go on. For many people, the idea of a vacation or even a day off is frightening. All you can think about is work piling up or other negative effects. This ends up seeping into other parts of life and we become rather impatient creatures who focus mostly on what is ‘useful’. Maybe the world would be a better place overall if we were allowed to relax without repercussions more often.

    • I think so. The sad part is that even while on vacation, we’re checking Facebook or our messages. I was in the store checkout line checking messages. Ugh. There’s never any sense of downtime. So yeah, we would all be better off with at least some time to relax!

  3. We are overloaded each day with information. It’s so important to slow down and take time to notice the beauty in simple things; it’s good for the soul. Thank you for taking the time to snap this photo and share it with us, Linda. It’s really beautiful. Happy Friday!

  4. Beautiful reminder, L. Marie. Stop…look…listen…watch…and sniff, again and again. Yesterday I was walking our dog–who loves to pause and inspect everything–but this time I didn’t try to hurry her along. I was rewarded with the sweet strong scent of blooming peonies and the fluttering busy-ness of robins building a nest in the tree branches overhead.
    My walk took longer than I’d planned, but I was happier and calmer all day.

    • What a lovely comment, Marylin! I’m so glad you didn’t hurry your dog and had a lovely, calming walk. I would have loved to see those blooming peonies. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Are You This Rose? | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie

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