Enduring Thorns 🌹

One of my climbing red rose bushes a couple of years ago developed a really thick stem with huge prickly thorns for practically its entire length of about four feet. That started me to think about the thorns we are enduring in our daily lives which have been turned topsy-turvy since 2020 as we continue to react to COVID-19 and its variants, economic instability, social unrest, and increasing crime.

You’ve had COVID-19, or you know someone or many who have suffered through it. You have been impacted by the lack of a steady income or, if you were fortunate enough to have a financial reserve, you are seeing it depleted. You have been a part of a prolonged protest against racial and other inequalities in our society. Or you have been forced to board up your business or seen businesses you depend on shuttered as some individuals have taken advantage of an opportune moment to vandalize and loot.

How many other thorns are going to tear at your skin and render you weak physically and mentally? Not one of us knows.

Something I do know about my spiky rose bush: it has, and it continues to produce gorgeous deep scarlet, fragrant blooms 🌹. When I need to prune or want to cut a few for my table, I have to wear gloves and work carefully. Even with my caution, I put a big gash right above my left wrist a couple of weeks ago. It healed as I treated it with a topical antibiotic cream. But I have a purple scar from the encounter. So all these thorns—trials and difficulties—we are enduring in our lives leave scars.

But don’t give up hope. Push beyond the immediate pain and see your scars as a testimony to your strength. Find today’s roses and enjoy them. And know there will be more in the future!

Looking Past the Thorns to See the Roses

Encouraging Words-Short Essay on Endurance
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2020-2022

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