Of Friendship and Roses

Pushing through this prickly path to publishing Giving Back has prompted a blog post or two. And if the last quarter proves to be the last mile, then its reputation for being the longest and hardest part of the journey is woefully understated. Surely gentler trails and greener places lie ahead. Favoring rose metaphors, I concede the truth of what Anne Brontë knew: “But he who dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.” Pointed reminders of the duality of my striving arrive daily.

One morning last week, I confided my struggles, as is not uncommon, to a close and longtime friend. Michelle has kindly lent her ear…shoulder…hand…brilliant mind…literary sensibilities…and enormous heart, at precisely the right time over the past fifty-some months. (Actually, my dearest friends all seem gifted with exquisite timing.)

On this day, however, pressure seemed to grip me particularly tight. Following an email exchange with Michelle for quick comfort, I resumed my laser-sharp focus on work. A requisite aptitude for writers. Dog barking. Stomach growling. Phone buzzing. Doorbell ringing. And I shut it out to meet a pressing deadline.

from Valaida's iPhone

Breaking momentarily from my mind’s cloister, I clunked down the stairs to the feed the dog, fix some lunch, check messages, et cetera, et cetera…but as I approached the foyer I glimpsed it. On the porch, peering through the glass-paned door: a flower delivery. Roses. Michelle knows.

And her card to me read . . .

"But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold." — Oliver Wendell Holmes

— VF

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