A Christmas rose

One Christmas morning stands out in my mind as so unusual and non-traditional that at times I think it must have been a dream. Three o'clock that morning found me outside enjoying the brisk, frigid air while making sure my one-hundred-plus customers woke up to find their Christmas newspaper neatly tucked inside the storm door or hanging from the door knob.

Several inches of day-old snow covered the lawns. Snowflakes dropped lazily from the sky. As I trudged down the sidewalk and up the drive, my boots made crunchy noises in the snow. Down the street, a dog barked. As I headed toward the door, something caught my eye. I looked down and there was a perfect pink rose in full bloom. I bent down to touch it, just to confirm it was real. The petals felt soft and velvety to my ungloved hand.

Quite honestly, I had been feeling rather unhappy about leaving my warm home at 1 a.m. to bundle and deliver newspapers knowing I was having Christmas dinner for fifteen later that day. I had definitely lost any Christmas spirit I had, carrying my bag full of papers up and down frozen, silent streets, envying those inside who could sleep so soundly on this holiday morning.

But there, in that little space was something so beautiful, so unique I shivered, but not from the cold. In the silence of that Christmas morning, as I looked at the rose and then up at the star-filled sky I realized that I was in the perfect place. In that moment, so still, so white, so peaceful, I experienced a better understanding of the meaning of Christmas for me. The simplicity of a single rose blooming when it should have frozen and died from the cold lifted my spirits and gave me hope. I knew in my heart I would never forget that rose.

When times get tough I think of the rose, blooming against all odds on that snowy Christmas morning. Of all the Christmas gifts I've received over the years the rose is the one I most treasure, for I believe it was put there for me, a gift from God that still gives me hope so many years later.

Dianne Borowski lives in Bay Village.

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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 12:02 PM, 12.06.2010