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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Last Rose of Summer...

I don’t remember the exact moment that I thought my roses had stopped blooming, but I know it must have been at least two weeks ago. Rose bushes look so forlorn when they finish blooming. The leaves wither and start to fall and I’m left with bare vines draped over a trellis my husband whipped up one Sunday afternoon, a couple of years ago.

This year, the sight left me a little sadder than it normally does. Without going into too much detail, it’s been a difficult summer and I’ve been looking forward to the change of season that brings cooler weather, decorating pumpkins and baking apple pie. There is a kind of peace that ritual brings, even if it’s nothing more than filling the house with the scent of baking apples and cinnamon or a pot of stew.

As I watch my last rose of summer, I’m reminded of the year that’s past, the good and the bad. I see the edges curling inward but it’s still turning its pretty red face toward the sun, still hanging on. When I was a child, I learned to press flowers but I’ve resisted cutting this one. These days, I prefer nature in its own habitat. I celebrate each growing season and this year, I’ll make it a point to notice when the last curled blossom falls. No matter what the calendar says, fall won’t really begin for me until that happens.

People have a history of marking change with ritual. Long ago, when people still practiced the old ways and celebrated Samhain as their new year, they not only recognized the birth of a new season, they acknowledged the end of the old one. There was a ritual where the Oak Lord and Crone that reigned during the old year went down to the underworld to make way for the Holly Lord and Maiden. The end of the growing cycle marked the beginning of a new year.

My rituals don’t have much to do with the Oak Lord and the Crone. They are more likely to involve a bucket of soapy water and the business end of a mop. While I enjoy airing the house and making everything spiffy in the spring, there’s something about deep cleaning when the air is brisk and there’s something delicious, bubbling in the crock-pot or baking in the oven, that signals the beginning of fall. I’ll miss my roses but I’m looking forward to watching the leaves change and seeing whatever costumes the neighbor kids put together this year.

How about you? Do you do anything special to celebrate autumn?

Until next month
Happy Reading!

Paris Brandon


Rose Anderson said...

Lovely post. I have a final rose too. Yesterday it looked like it glowed. I think it was trying to get my attention. :)

As far as traditons go...We celebrate Dia de los Muertos— the Day of the Dead. In the week leading up to Halloween, photos of friends and loved ones who have passed away are set out amid flowers and little statues of painted skeletons and skulls. Then, on the last day of the month, I'll make a large pot of posole for dinner and invite my friends over for a fire in the backyard. They come with pictures of their own loved ones. One by one, we tell them we remember them. It's said souls can hear you when the veils between worlds are their thinnest. It's a nice, albeit wistful evening.

Tina Donahue said...

I'm enjoying the cool weather - finally - in Cali. I hate summer. Never liked it, not even as a child. Autumn and spring are my fave times.

Paris said...

What a lovely tradition, thank you for sharing.

Paris said...


I'm in the mid-west and the older I get the less I enjoy the really hot weather. We've had quite a few cool days and some rain, lately so the heat and humidity aren't bad. I do look forward to autumn:)

vicki batman said...

Hi, Paris! My knockout roses are still blooming like crazy, but they are supposed to for our neck of the woods. I'm with you on fall cleaning. I spent a loonng time cleaning #2 son's room since he moved out. Lordy. I hurt all over afterwards.

Paris said...

Hi Vicki:)

I hear you on the "hurt all over" part, lol! There just doesn't seem to be any way around it.

Cara Marsi said...

What a poetic blog. My desk faces a window looking out at our rose garden. All the roses are gone now. I don't think about their passing the way you do, but I like what you said. I know the sadness that comes with life. Last October was very bad for me. I love summer, hate winter, but I've always liked October, until last year. I'm staying positive and thinking about pumpkin. I love anything pumpkin--ice cream (Trader Joe's has the best); pie; pumpkin bread pudding; pumpkin coffee; pumpkin pancakes; pumpkin spread; pumpkin cream cheese. Pumpkin helps me feel better against the inevitable sadness for the loss of loved ones and the loss of summer.

Paris said...


Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. I hear you about the pumpkin! I love any and all things pumpkin. Years ago, a friend baked and gave me the recipe for pumpkin bread in a canning jar. You put the lid on after you take the jars out of the oven and they seal as if you'd canned them. They last for quite a while (well, not so long at our house:). Maybe we should have a day to exchange pumpkin recipe's next month on the yahoo group:)

Melissa Keir said...

I don't do anything special to mark the changing seasons. I get sad at the end of summer because it's my favorite season. I love the warmer weather and the extra sunshine! While I love the food in the fall, I miss the ice cream and treats of summer as well. :)

I've never been able to grow roses. Yours are beautiful!

Paris said...


I've always enjoyed the change of seasons and as for ice cream, that's a year round treat for me:)

Cara Marsi said...

Paris, I love your idea of exchanging pumpkin recipes.

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