It is early June here on the coast of Northern Washington State. This means that the Wild Roses are blooming. Wild Roses are known for bringing calm and this is exactly how I feel while I am harvest their fragrant pink petals on warm, sunny days.
A year ago my schedule was very hectic. It was the first spring of Covid. Closely on the heels of two months alone with my kids while my husband was in China (he was entirely alone in lockdown for the last three weeks of his stay there!), I was sudenly homeschooling both of my children, working three extremely intense days a week in a clinical healthcare setting and whenever I could, I was getting into my garden that grows practically all of the produce that my vegetarian family eats in a year. I didn't have irrigation yet, so that garden work included hand watering, a pastime I love but which is particularly time consuming. Back then, as it was still early Covid, I was also still making housework a top priority! I had a lot going on and like so may people, I was doing a great deal of juggling.
In the midst of this, I created the space in my days to harvest Wild Roses while my children played in open fields and on the beach by the ocean. They were happy. I began to fill my jars with rose petals. I felt inspired to take a deep breath. I breathed in the Wild Roses and felt my body. Until that moment I had no idea how stressed out I was. I was actually shocked to find out! I kept harvesting, taking in both the simple pleasing pink colour and delicious fragrance of the roses. I became aware of how tight my body was. Tight in my shoulders, in my jaw, everywhere! I kept on picking. My children kept playing in the warm sun. I breathed out the stress, out the tension, out the tightness. Over and over again, I breathed out the entire burden of winter and early spring. My hands continued the work of harvesting Wild Rose petals. I decided I had to create a change that would allow me to maintain the relaxed state the flowers were giving me in that very moment. I filled the jars with more flowers. I felt my heart, mind and body swept by immense gratitude for all that these special plants were unexpectedly providing me with. On more spring days of perfect blue skies and warm air, I continued to harvest Wild Roses (ethically, of course). I came out of Wild Rose season changed. I left Wild Rose season behind me with new commitments to take forward for myself for the year ahead.
I can't say that I have been free of stress or struggles in the ensuing year. That would be an unrealistic pursuit! But I did keep my promises I made. Wild Rose season began last week. I continue to appreciate the calm that washes over me as I participate in my favourite harvest of the season. However, thanks to guidance of last year's roses, I feel a lot more relaxed, satisfied and unharried than I did a year ago. I am better able to take quick action and do what needs to be done before a troubling situation snowballs. I have transformed my life in the past year so that it better reflects what my heart, mind and body want for me. This year, the Wild Roses are reminding me to keep moving further into myself rather than away. I will keep on listening and saying thank you!