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.

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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.

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

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Sunrise photo from wallpaprer.com.