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Of Roses and Thorns

        In the near endless universe of botanicals, the queen of all flowers is surely – the magnificent rose. Its rich pallet of colors is unrivaled in the natural world. Its strong stem and graceful leaves have no peers. The fragrant oils of the rose are highly prized by the finest perfumeries on earth. Its petals, softer than any velvet and its buds, one of the best sources of an essential vitamin of human life.

        Yet, the most singular attribute of this preeminent flower is considered by many to be the one noxious, undesirable by-product of this otherwise perfect entity: its offensive thorns. These prickly irritations have punctured many a finger and drawn their fair share of blood over the years.

        Ironically, it is through the paradox of the properties of this remarkable flower that we find perhaps the ultimate metaphor of life. For neither of these complements – bloom nor thorn – is fully appreciated without the other, as neither achieves full stature on its own.

        In life, the thorns of tribulation and adversity, when properly understood, are not only to be endured, but embraced, for the perspective they bring. We discover, in fact, that it is the pernicious thorns and not the flowers that produce our faith to pray, compassion to feel, humility to trust, desire to prioritize, and the vision to see things clearly.

        The thorns, not the blossoms, are the means to an end – an end of strength, fulfillment and joy. Just as the thorn completes the rose, we will ultimately find that adversity actualizes the human being.

        And so, this exceptional beauty in all its splendor and glory, is second to none, not in spite of, but, because of, it’s less reputable counterpart – the magnificent thorn!

Wishing you, gardens of blooms

with a judicious amount of thorns!