My roses are blooming. That's not an earth-shattering or even particularly impressive statement. Lots of people's roses are blooming. But considering the forces I've been battling (aphids, powdery mildew, black spot) and just the general fretting I've been doing (Did I move them to the right spot in the garden? Did I prune them back enough? Or too much?), these blooms are very reassuring. It makes me think that maybe my garden will work out OK after all.
And it makes me think of a poem by the Mexican poet Amado Nervo. The poem, "En Paz," is a poignant commentary about how things in life generally work out. There is good and bad, but overall, life is generally what we make of it. When we put our best efforts into things, they usually produce something wonderful. Or as Nervo's beautifully simple line goes, "Cuando planté rosales, coseché siempre rosas." When I planted rosebushes, I always harvested roses.
Lots of things can go wrong in a garden and disappointing results are not uncommon--I could list three or four disappointments in my yard right now. But it is the small reassurances of things like a bright white rose in bloom that lead us back into the garden again and again, ready to put forth our best efforts and see what sort of harvest they will lead to. And this is how gardens are built: one rosebush, one rose at a time.