“It is creeping upon me now. Stealthy and sly, full of silent menace, like a snake hiding in the prairie grass…
No, I do not need your hand, nor do I need your weightless platitudes and empty eyes that smile benignly. I do not need your scraps, those cast off bits of time in between those pursuits more important than silly old me. I don’t need hugs and kisses, coddling and compliments. I can pull my own weight, right up from my boot straps, and you will never hear me complain.
I will not ask for help, I will help myself.
Who do you imagine me to be, a wilting violet? A sweet daisy, both tenacious and delicate? A pernicious dandelion pushing through concrete? No, I am a rose. Not the kind found primped and fondled behind wrought iron fencing and manicured lawns. Not the tender blooms fed with fertilizers and drip lines, not the blushing ladies of tabletop vases and valentine sweethearts.
I am that burley bush high in the mountains clinging tenaciously to a sheer cliff’s edge. Bracing defiantly for the onslaught of tempest and rain, not shying from the harsh bite of winter nor the hot slap of summer. My thorns are smaller than those of my primped and proper converts, but more profuse and dangerous in their sneekyness. I am more foliage than bloom, more practicality than beauty, saving all my strength for growing into myself, only unfolding a few petals to the flirtation of bees.
Some may pass me by with a smile, sigh at the untamed beauty of the high places, but they do not stop to pluck as they are so drawn with domesticated roses.
This is the way I like it, this is what I am good at, this survival. I am no hot-house flower or meticulously groomed pet…
Please remember that next time you breeze my way.”