Horticulturists proposed entire gardens to their fragrance and exquisite vistas.
Roseraie du Val-de-Marne in L'Ha˙-les-Roses, France. Wikepedia
Ancient Romans and Greeks identified them to their love goddesses, Venus and Aphrodite.
Poets and play writes penned their expression, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - words uttered by Juliet to Romeo.
It aroused the imagery of lover and beloved, of the Sufi mystic's quest for divine love and inspired the prominent books 'The Rose Garden' and 'The Rose Garden of Secrets' to be written. The Sufi master Jilani is known as "the Rose of Baghdad"
Its petals identified with the five wounds of Christ by Mediaeval Christians and adopted as a symbol of the red blood with Christian martyrs, later becoming associated with the Virgin Mary.
It became a symbol of unity in England by Henry Tudor between the Houses of Lancaster and York after the civil war, later known as 'The War of the Roses'.
Choosing the Red or White Rose. Symbols of the War of the Roses. Wikipedia
A German non violet resistance group in World War II was named 'The White Rose' aspiring peace.
The list goes on …
Their colours convey slightly different meanings.
Red - the almighty encompasses Universal Love.
White - expresses a love for Peace and Purity.
Yellow - communicates a love for Friendship
Pink - suggests a love for Romance
Happiness and love in its purity appear elusive in our busy world.
Some catch glimpses of bliss, some never do.
On my way to the airport for a long awaited holiday, I randomly stopped at a florist purchasing twenty four red and white roses for no particular reason other than sheer joy. The florist asked the occasion, my reply "No idea".
There was no conscious thought why or what I was going to do with them, although my soul had plans, it was overflowing with love, for me and life with an abundance to give.
I was oblivious to my actions, all I knew, I was in bliss.
Alighting the taxi, I drew a rose from my bouquet handing it to the driver, his face softened into a radiant smile. I left him with his thoughts.
Handing a red rose to the ticket girl, she asked what it was for, shrugging, I answered "Just because" "What will I tell my husband?" "Someone gave you a rose" I replied. She seemed perplexed with my reply, yet somehow happy.
A shy young waitress in the coffee shop gazed contemplatively at the roses, I invited her to choose one, hesitantly she chose white, after delivering my coffee she stood at a distance with a bewildered look rose in hand gazing at me.
A thought gently washed through my mind, people rarely give for the singular purpose to express a universal love. I pondered to what was going on in her life. Did she dislike her job, her boss, did she feel alone, undervalued, unnoticed? ….. my feeling was, it touched her in some way. The thoughts passed and I began wandering around the airport obeying the subtle directions of my soul handing a rose to people in a random fashion without a word, eye contact or pausing.
Observing a saddened young man slouched at a table one hand holding his head, the other with pen writing in a book, he appearing burdened, I gently placed a rose near his book, and continued on my way.
I continued to hand a rose to random people. Sometimes after a few paces I would turn around, finding the person had stopped their hurried pace, just gazing at the rose in their hand. My conscious mind kicked in which made me consider what effect it may have on their lives no matter how small and what meaning did they give to receiving a rose.
Two hours later, my bouquet now spent, bought me to a halt, scanning the airport for the rose's destinations.
The woman at the counter was laughing with a customer, the rose placed in her cleavage, the young waitress was smiling and had a bounce to her step as she delivered a breakfast order, the rose fastened to her belt. The saddened young man was now sitting tall smiling, writing ferociously his left hand gently holding the rose.
I giggled as I witnessed the big beefy security guards pointing to the rose to a passenger they had pinned to the sign board. The sharp business man was now wearing the rose in his lapel, the elderly lady in her hair. It became a bookmark for one person, another in their passport wallet. Some were holding it to their nose, smelling the fragrance another brushing their cheek with the soft petals.
Did a single rose alter their perception on life? I believe so.
Would their joy ripple into the lives of their loved ones, work colleagues and other people in their realm? What I observed, is a yes.
Did I have fun and feel good? Unquestionably.
Allowing the person to create their own meaning of receiving the rose.
Random Rose Day What: Red or white roses are the most powerful. When: There is no set day. Create your own day.
Mark it in your calendar for a regular event, or do it randomly when the urge takes you.
Do it in your lunch break during the week or just go for a walk on the week-end.
Who: Trust your intuition. Give a rose to males, females, young and old. Business suited people, burly workmen, mums with prams, grandfathers, a young child.
Where: Walking down the street. Enter a shop and give one to a sales assistant, or a fellow customer. On a bus, train or ferry. An event, restaurant or cafe. Even at an airport. Get to work early and leave one on each person's desk, including your own, leave and walk in surprised like everyone else. Don't tell anyone where they came from. Leave one on the doorstep under the windshield wiper of a car.
How: Experiment and have fun with it, give them randomly without conversation, eye contact or pausing, or perhaps with a warm smile. Minimal conversation is the most powerful, it evokes the person to create their own meaning.
Suggestions: Make sure they are picked fresh and look for their perfection, or cut them from your garden.
Wrap them as a pretty bouquet tied with a ribbon to make it look special.
Cost: Free from your garden or starting from $7 a bunch of twelve to whatever you want to splurge.
As you give a rose, be conscious of the love you are extending out into the world.
Tell your friends and family about Random Rose Day allowing them to experience the joy of giving and perhaps changing someone's perspective on life.