Friday, 27 June 2014

Roses, Thorns and a Way to Stay Grateful!

Dogrose Pattern by Posh & Painterly
Quote from Anne Bronte
It didn't surprise me that the internet provided me with so many 'rose' quotations, given that it's such a universally popular flower. 

But I had no hesitation in choosing this perhaps rather forbidding quote from Anne Bronte for this month's 'Garden/Flowers' illustration. 

There could hardly be a more accurate metaphor for Life than the bewitching beauty of the rose's blooms and their fragrance, in stark contrast to the sharpness of its thorns. I seem to have picked up a nasty scratch on my arm and I haven't even started any serious dead-heading yet!

As I write my little garden is still full of roses. 

They have been particularly glorious this year. But nearly two weeks of unusually hot, dry weather has meant that they haven't lasted long. And when I look at my scratched arm and the really high ones that are difficult to reach, the huge and tedious job of dead-heading them is almost enough to make me question whether it's all worth it. 

Almost but not quite!

Metanoia Climbing Rose

And that's because I find it impossible to think of anything we enjoy, any part of our lives, however pleasurable, that doesn't bring with it some less welcome aspect. (Those of us who are mothers know all about this - the pain of giving birth contrasted with the joy of welcoming  a new life into the world!) 

Unfortunately, it's a fact that if we insist on trying to avoid all pain, we'll surely miss out on a great many of Life's pleasures! 

But there is a more positive way of looking at Anne Bronte's observation. My internet search brought up another, similar but less stern, quotation that I like even better -

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; 
I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 

Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

Alphonse Karr has turned Anne Bronte's warning words on their head and interpreted them as reason to be grateful!

They say that 'gratitude' is a great antidote to depression and that remembering to be grateful will invariably lift our spirits. 

But I'd be the first to admit that there are days when it feel next to impossible to feel genuinely grateful. However, the internet has come to my rescue, in the form of a clever idea I found on Pinterest - the Gratitude Jar

Here's mine - not the prettiest of jars, maybe, but it does the job and maybe I'll find a more decorative one for next year! 

All sorts of things, on all sorts of topics, are being recorded in my Gratitude Jar and I know it will be really intriguing to open it up on December 31st and be reminded of all those times when I had reason to be grateful!

It's not too late, we're only half way through the year - why don't you give it a go?


Fliss said...

Love the Gratitude Jar idea, may be we should have a worry jar as well then we could write down our worries , lock them away and forget about them. I am sure if we opened them up a few months later we would laugh and wonder why we had been worrying.

Judy Adamson said...

What a good idea, Fliss - I'll have to look out for two nice jars. (I think a charity shop might be the best place to look!)