a single rose can change you

There was a time I found myself in the heart of Scotland. It was my home, in so many ways, although the location is quite irrelevant to anyone but myself.

I wandered down the cobblestone streets, and in amongst the freshly bloomed heather, and looming thistles, sat a lone, ivory rose. I knew I had to have it. I picked it off the bush and headed down to the local loch to sit by the water.

I picked at the petals, telling myself I would only take the wilting ones around the edges, to make it beautiful again. Ten minutes passed and the newly exposed petals were now starting to wilt as well, so I picked them off to make it beautiful again.

See, it suddenly made sense to me.

You can look at a rose and only see the imperfections, and you’ll pluck them away one by one until you’re happy with it. But soon there are new flaws to be just as easily discarded until there’s nothing left but a raw, stripped, tired stem.

The stem of something that was once so beautiful that you thought to take it for yourself in the first place.

I thought back to just an hour earlier, when from even the smallest distance, any faults were what made it beautiful. They shaped its existence. They gave it life. The second the first petal was forcefully pulled, it lost itself.

And I realised that’s exactly what people do to other people.