Here is the beautiful rose, unfurling its peachy colour just this week. The plant is an old one by the looks of the wizened stem. But each year, without fail, it ushers forth buds that become these exquisite roses. When I’ve cut it back, rather ungainfully and without much skill, it sprouts out with a double stork from just under the trim.
Why corsetted? I was thinking of the modest display of this cultivated rose. It is demure; its petals swirling out in their complexity, into this shape or that, depending on its breeding. Constraint is in its DNA. I thought of Victorian women, ‘freely’ taking on the constraints of approved behaviour in order to be seemly – the complexity of all that it is to be a woman squeezed and confined by whalebone and laces. And men loved them thus. And women, wanting the love of men, wanted to be constrained, as that was acceptable.
But here’s the thing! From the old root stock, from the sturdy ancient root, new shoots arise, and these do not carry the marks of the grafted, cultivated rose. These shoots are of the wild rose – strong, vigorous, generous, true to her original nature. She is at home in her own nature of beauty, modesty and joy. She doesn’t need to be constrained to be safe. She is safe as she is. Many will not see her beauty – she never looked for their approval anyhow. She is as she is; the soil grounds her, the rain nourishes her and the sun warms her. But those who see and appreciate her, are captivated and filled with delight. For they too, have found the wildness in their souls.