Our Rose of Hope: the Lenten Rose
Written By: William McReynolds - Highlands Plateau Audubon Society | Issue: 2021/01 – Winter
William and a miraculous transplanted Lenten Rose and a young man from Australia give us a blessed message to carry throughout this uncertain year.
When my wife’s elderly and beloved aunt in Georgia had to sell her house and move into assisted living, we were given permission to dig up and take home the Lenten Rose in her backyard.
Here in Sapphire Valley that plant has thrived, surprising us by blooming in early November, giving forth radiant blooms that last for weeks. We thought the Lenten rose heralded Lent before Easter.
There is, no doubt, a perfectly good botanical reason for its blooming in late fall and early winter.
But we have chosen to believe that this icon of Hope comes to remind us, in this season of planetary woe, that there is another season of well-being coming, better days are ahead. Being the Lenten Rose, it signals Hope for return, renewal, rebirth.
Hope comes in many guises.
In Australia, a high school student named Ravin Rathnayake recently won a poetry competition in Victoria. Among 300 student entries, Ravin’s Hope won first prize. Here is an excerpt from this winning entry:
How can something invisible to the naked eye shut down the Earth?
It expanded over the lands and seas.
Birds stopped tweeting.
The sand at beaches missed touching human feet,
And stroking them underwater.
It was painful; dreadfully painful.
The Statue of Liberty was despondent
When the Big Apple closed its doors.
Mount. Fuji was struck with grief, as it froze in fear.
The Rainbow Serpent never unleashed its true colours on the Uluru.
Everyone. Fell. Asleep.
Then, a hope was born.
A hope to survive.
A hope to stay together.
A hope for this to end.
A hope for return…
It was time for people
To open their hearts and be grateful.
Grateful to survive the hardship.
Grateful to have hope.
Hope is a powerful feeling.
Hope gives us what we need.
Hope is our fuel.
Thou should have hope to survive.
Hope is what wakes us up.
Because of hope, the world is awakening.
We applaud those sacrificing their lives
For the sake of others.
We are pacing closer and closer
To our goal.
Like a baby turtle
Wading to the ocean for the first time.
Hope secretly feeds and strengthens humanity.
When confronted with adversity,
Hope can be our best friend. Forever.
Australia has her roses of hope, too.
by William McReynolds