1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rosa 'Spice': Is a Rose Truly a Rose If It Hasn't Any Thorns?

"Roses grow upon briers, which is to signify that all temporal sweets are mixed with bitter...

...But what seems more especially to be meant by it, is that true happiness, the crown of glory, is to be come at in no other way than by bearing Christ's cross by a life of mortification, self-denial, and labor, and bearing all things for Christ...

...The rose, the chief of all flowers, is the last thing that comes out. The briery, prickly bush grows before...

Rosa 'Spice' in our garden near Pensacola, February 2013

...but the end and crown of all is the beautiful and fragrant rose." --Jonathan Edwards, from Images or Shadows of Divine Things

Here it is the middle of February 2013, and my new favorite rose bush, "Spice," an antique rose, is blooming like it's already the month of May. The shrub was a thank-you gift to me from Dr. Gary Knox, a horticultural research scientist with the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida. I had helped his assistant with some project or other, and he knew that I would be leaving the Tallahassee area soon (in March 2012) to return to our home near Pensacola. I can't think of a nicer parting/homecoming gift than a rose bush like "Spice." In its first year in my garden, it has resisted many of the problems common to roses in Florida, detailed in this UF/IFAS article written by Dr. Knox, et al.

"Spice" shrugs off black spot and Cercospora leaf spot, and the latter disease has been known to K.O. even the Knockouts, according to another IFAS rose article. In fact, only two roses, "Mrs. B. R. Cant" and "Spice," were mentioned in the article as reliably resistant to both diseases.

Besides its hardiness in the heat and humidity at our Florida home, "Spice" has another helpful habit: hardly any thorns (briers or prickles). It's obviously not the ideal candidate for Jonathan Edwards' image of mortification. He must have had a Rugosa rose in mind when he wrote his treatise.

Is a Rose truly a Rose if it hasn't any thorns?
A bull would find its head quite bare if it hadn't any horns.
The prickly parts of life that catch us unaware
Are meant for us to bear
So say some wise spiritual guides
Who line up on the sides
Of life's path we try to navigate
And tell us what will trip us up and how to mitigate
The punishment awaiting us if off the path we stray
It's best to listen to the words they say
But add to that the task
Of taking in the written Word that makes you want to ask
Why am I here and how should I live my life?
The questions hold the keys to faith, the answers not in strife
That trips us up and messes up our mind
That thought we knew the key to happiness was simply being kind
But love is what's required, the kind we'd like for self
The sort of love we'd keep reserved and on our private shelf
That if exposed to everyone we'd think would run right out
But if it's Love that Eternal Springs and requires Sacrifice--
The more Divine the source of it--the corporeal, the temporal simply won't suffice...

--Walk2Write, 2-13-2013--

(After he read my post, SAM said it appeared that Mr. Edwards had written the poem, when in fact it was mine, written this very morning).


  1. A thornless rose sounds like an oxymoron. I'd guess that flowers as beautiful as that would need protection. Yours are gorgeous!

  2. Dear Walk2write,
    such a wonderful present - you will always think of the giver when those roses fill the air with their scent (and I imagine it to be a deep lovely scent, otherwise it wouldn't have got that name).
    As an ardent rose-lover I almost envy you the early time you can indulge in roses (we have snow and ice - my roses shiver on the balcony). And thorns - well, better a rose and a few little prickles (? I mean when they stitch you) than no roses at all.

  3. Thanks, Sarah. If we had deer passing through, I'm sure the rose would be nibbled to the ground. Fortunately, any deer that might be around here don't bother to come through our yard.

    I don't miss the cold and ice and snow of the north at all, dear Britta. The summers here with their ghastly heat and humidity probably take just as much a toll on the roses' health as the cold winters do where you live. 'Spice' does have a lovely scent, but it's not as heady as you might imagine. Maybe that's its secret weapon against insects and other pests. It doesn't want to attract too much attention.

  4. Now I want a Spice!!! I will have to search around and find one, for sure! Love your poem! Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow to you and SAM!

  5. First, I love antique rose! And I love how you threaded the JE quotes through the pictures.

    And did you write that poem? It's lovely!!! I like the line that goes: "That thought we knew the key to happiness was simply being kind"

    great reflections! Happy V'day~ <3

  6. Beautiful rose and words. I miss my roses by having built our new house in the shady woods there are other compensations. And we flew into Fort Myer having a wonder time hiking Floridas wonderful "wild" areas. So many place to go and so little time....