Sometimes you have to keep the lovely for the sake of a memory. That is how it is with me and roses. I love roses. I love fresh roses. I love roses that bloom on the bushes and even enjoy watching them fade away and drop their petals leaving rosehips to gather for tea.
But on the very special occasion when I receive long-stem roses from my husband, there is something absolutely timeless about drying those roses to keep the memory of that day alive forever. That is why I do what I do at the end of the fresh-life of my roses. JUST AT THE MOMENT ...
I notice them start to droop, I rescue them from their vase, wrap a rubber band around the stems, turn them upside down and hang them on a nail or hook. They look so country chic as they dry. Afterwards, I can use them for various displays, dried arrangements, or leave them hanging on a hook in honor of the day they came to me.
Nearly fifty years ago my husband's sweet grandmother Bartlett gave me an antique Torque pottery milk-pitcher. Written on one side is this epithet: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." I sometimes read that little sentence and consider all the beauty around me: the sunrises, and sunsets, the Spring meadows bursting into life with every conceivable color and blossom. Yet, even with the most beautiful sight I'll ever see, I know I cannot fathom the beauty of what God has prepared for me in heaven.
I see the beauty in a stranger's single random act of kindness and cradle the memory and joy it brought to me and others. I realize afresh why Jesus said we store our treasures in heaven when we give joy to family, friends, and strangers. Joy of this kind is the "forever" beauty to which my little pitcher is speaking. That beauty and joy we will carry into our eternity with Him. It's being stored there for us.
After I dried my roses, I took the red ones and put them in a simple clay vase and tied a string around it and made a table vignette for my kitchen table (see above). The white roses still hang grouped together and rest happily on my white bookcase in my bedroom... to be a joy for as long as their presence allows me.