Lessons from a Rose

Antonia, May Day, Amsterdam, 1976
Those of us who are parents know that the greatest treasure we shall ever tend, prune, feed and nurture are our children. No doubt. My (still forthcoming) book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy is dedicated to Antonia, the most precious flower in my garden.

So you will understand me when I tell you how amazing it’s going to be, that after living her life at the south end of a very tall state of California for ten years, Antonia is returning to Northern California, to her roots, to grad school, and to further growth and expansion. Wow! So yesterday I was both charmed and touched when she posted the following and I promptly asked her if I might include as a Guest Post. She generously agreed. (Thank you, Antonia, precious girl!)


For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.

~William Blake~

I was on my way out of the market, purchases made in preparation for the feast I would make that night, when I saw the little rose plant. I had wanted to place something Lovely on the table, but hadn’t seen any cut flowers which spoke to me. No. This was far better, as I could watch it grow, instead of having to toss it in the trash in a few days time. And, it was so cute, in its little metal bucket! ๐Ÿ˜€ I Loved it! I picked out a sweet, rosy red coloured plant and headed back to the checkout counter, completely oblivious to the Wonderful lessons this dear little life form would impart upon me.


The first revelation occurred a month or two after its purchase. Happily settled into its place in the sunny kitchen window, my little rose plant was blossoming Beautifully! I was enjoying cooking for a friend, who gazed upon the plant, and remarked upon its two blooms, “This one is doing better than this one.” Hmmmm… While I understood what he was saying, as one bloom appeared to have more Life left in it than the other, I suddenly understood the circle of life in a whole new way. If all is a circle, than how can one point in the circle be any better than another point? Does God/Goddess/Source see a diamond as Better than a pebble? I’m venturing to guess not. All is equal, Beautiful and Perfect, right?


Life is a child playing around your feet, a tool you hold firmly in your grip, a bench you sit down upon in the evening, in your garden.

~Jean Anouilh~

I have such an appreciation for babies! Don’t you just Love baby energy? They are so new and fresh and have not forgotten who they are, nor been tainted by misconstrued human thinking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ *giggle* And, I so admire and respect crones, for the Beautiful Wisdom they carry and Lovingly share. Is one Better than the other? Of course not! ‘Tis all just part of the circle of what is, has been and all~ways will be.

Einstein told us that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, so I do wonder how death of the life energy within can come to an end. Perhaps all life really does end where it begins, begins where it ends and reincarnation is just eternity in slices?

In nature the life-death-rebirth cycle is clear as we watch flash fires ignited by lightning level the prairies. It may appear that all life is gone, lost to the ravages of flame and smoke, but within days, tiny green shoots begin to poke above the surface of the soil. Mother Earth has cleared the land for new life. Even in my garden I sense the seasons and the cycle of life-death-life. Perennials planted in my yard years ago go through their seasonal life span: a new green shoot, a blooming tulip, soon gone, but the bulb below the soil holds all the necessary ingredients for repeating the cycle again next spring.

~Kathleen A. Brehony~

The second lesson my little rose plant taught me occurred in the past few weeks. I had departed for a Holiday visit to my BeLoved Northern California and my rose plant did not fare very well while I was gone. Uhhh ohhh! Upon my return I discovered that there was very little left of my plant; there were no buds, or even leaves, only a few little branches sticking up from the dirt. Well, it is Winter after all, and surely, like the barren trees outdoors, the energy is building beneath ground, ready to burst forth in Spring, right? I had meant to transplant the little darling and now seemed the perfect time to do so.

I chose a soup bowl which, with its chipped bottom, was no longer going to grace the table, but with the words “Fleurs de Paris” across the side, seemed ideal for my little rose. I placed rocks in the bottom to ensure drainage and chose to use organic dirt (lesson learned from my herb pot date last spring! hehe). I gave my rose some water, placed it in a new sunny location and waited. Wow!! It Thrived! Quickly! Lovely! Lovely! I knew there was Life in her! She just needed proper room for growth! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Perhaps a combination of some winter’s rest, and transplantation? And, as I am about to embark upon my 44th move, it felt like a Gorgeous reminder of how being in the right environment with room for growth can allow for blossoming. ๐Ÿ™‚

Isn’t she Lovely?


The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts life.

~William James~

Love and blessings,
Kathryn and Antonia xoxoxo

24 Responses to “Lessons from a Rose”

  1. What a delightful post. It must be wonderful to have a loved one come back into your life. My son is only 18 and still at home, which I cherish.

  2. Hi, Billy! Welcome and thank you! It is a very exciting time for both of us! I don’t think I’ve fully yet digested the reality of it, but I will soon, with great joy! Yes, cherish every day with that son. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xoxo

  3. Beautiful post. You must be very proud of your daughter, obviously a gifted writer like her mother. Nature offers myriad life lessons if we’re sensitive enough to see them.

  4. Having read both your blogs separately this past year, itโ€˜s a delight and a celebration to see you two wonderful writers combined – so similar and at once so unique, and most certainly both so soulful! For those who do not know Kathryn personally, I can testify, as a friend of some 35 years or so, that she has LONGED to live more proximately to Antonia for the entire decade theyโ€˜ve been separated. Kathryn may not have “digested” it fully yet, but this is a HUGE blessing in her life, and I can only scratch the surface of imagining how much pleasure and richness will be derived. Having been a resident of both northern and southern California at times in my life, I am also relieved to see my Fairy God Daughter leaving “the pit”, and returning to fresher air and hopefully, more room to groove. Doinโ€˜ the “Snoopy dance” over here on Maui.

  5. LOL! Oh, Pamela, this is too precious! Thank you very much, Fairy Godmother and Dear Friend, for that illumination. Yes, so true. Soaking it all up and feeling very grateful for it all! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  6. Hi, Grace. Welcome back. Thank you. Yes, incredibly proud of my beloved daughter and humbled by the entire gestalt! And,yes, life lessons abound in the garden. Can’t wait to send you my book when it’s ready!
    Kathryn xoxo

  7. Kathryn,

    I am so very happy for you and Antonia. How true, we never know what each day will bring. So much happiness, so exciting and so much joy.

    Beautiful post, like mother like daughter

  8. Hi Kathryn and Antonia, what a joyful post, lot of lovely warm words and great pictures. I love the first picture of you Antonia, very seventees. I bet it’s great to be close to each other again especially in your beautiful valley.

    Have a great week, LOLove Tyra

  9. Kathryn, what a fantastic post from both of you and how wonderful for you to have Antonia coming home at long last. First-Born went off to university in September and, even though she is only 40 miles away, I miss her so much that it aches some days. I share your joy at her homecoming!

  10. Hello, Marjorie! Yes, exciting and happy news! Thank you for your kind words and the visit! Kathryn xoox

  11. Good morning, Tyra! Yes, that first photo certainly does reflect the times, doesn’t it? Thanks for your warm thoughts! Kathryn xoxo

  12. Hi, Liz, I so know what you are talking about. It was a long road accepting that my life had changed. And now it’s changing again! You truly never do know, and when you think you do it seldom fits your pictures!
    Grateful for this next chapter, however it shows up, and loving my daughter every step of the way! Kathryn xoxo

  13. Your post on your daughter really touched my heart. For the first 14 years that my son lived on the “other”coast I missed him greatly so a year ago I bought the house next door to him (at the urging of he and his wife). It is a tiny house but adequate for visiting a few times a year. My husband and I have many good times gardening with my son and his wife and her extended family have welcomed us into their fold. Having a caring family is the greatest gift I can imagine!

  14. Hi, Karen. I’m touched by your story. How fabulous to have had the opportunity to buy the little house next door to your son! And what a special thing to have been included into the in law fold! That one is never a given and is a great gift for all concerned. I’m happy for your good fortune. Kathryn xoxo

  15. Hi Kathryn and Antonia!
    I loved the photographs, the paintings, poems and the thoughts expressed.
    What a beautiful, moving post.
    I was very touched.

  16. Hi, Philip! Good Monday morning! Thanks for the kind thoughts. We’re glad you enjoyed the post! Kathryn & Antonia xoxo

  17. Hello Mom and BeLoved Readers,

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate the Lovely comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am really looking forward to my return to the North, and,
    being in closer proximity to my Beautiful mother! YAY!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love and Blessings,

  18. Reread your post this morning, Antonia, and savored how beautifully written it is. Thank you again for sharing your voice on this blog. So appreciated! ๐Ÿ™‚ And SO looking forward to the Great Trek North! Wahoo!! Love and BIG BIG hugs! Mom xoxo

  19. Didn’t know Antonia was as gifted a writer as her Mom. It was a beautiful piece, from start to finish.
    What an exciting move for mover and receiver!! This may mean more collaborations.
    Your writing and joyful news of a reunion were the shot in the arm ,this old friend needed.
    Happiness in abundance to you both, Betsy

  20. Hi, Betsy. Very kind of you to say. We both appreciate your warm wishes. I know you know as a mother what it means to have our children near and nearer. Kathryn xoxo

  21. How lovely … dear Kathryn & Antonia. I see a beautiful reflection in not only your fine faces but writing style. This will be a memorable time for you both … I know, my daughter lives near.

  22. Hi, dear Joey! How sweet to have your motherly mirroring and blessing. Yes, we are really looking forward to this next chapter! And how wonderful to hear your daughter is nearby! Big hug! Kathryn xoxo

  23. What a wonderful guest post Kathryn and Antonia – so lyrical, so beautifully written. I loved it. The artwork is beautiful too.

    Your joy resonates with me Kathryn – my youngest daughter returned home to the Chicago area last week after living on the east coast . Let’s hope they stay near and nearer for a good long while!

  24. Hi, Linda–Antonia and I thank you! I’m so happy to hear that you also have a daughter returning to her roots. Isn’t it WONDERFUL??? Kathryn xoxo

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