A Faded Rose

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. ― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

A Faded Rose

In a follow on to my side trip into aging gracefully, I made a few tweaks to this previous post to give a snapshot into the thoughts one has for a loved one as they grow old together and frailty begins to pull one away from the other.

The metaphor of life from a faded rose in my garden struck me one day as I watched it fade, almost over night.  Memories of youth and life played like a song in my mind even though the words played hide and seek as I searched my mind to no avail to remember dates, names, and faces of those long gone. How our lives fade came to me all too clear in that moment through the lens when the rose came into focus.



Why do you look so down, now?

Is the weight of your life so heavy on your slender stem?

You do not open your heart to me, to show the wonder of your flowering beauty as you did before.

What is it you don’t want me to see that you showed me with pleasure before?

Do you mourn the passing of your youth into the harsh tiredness of your struggle to live?

Before, you didn’t think on this day that must come. But, you knew it would, eventually. The sun caused your color to shine, iridescent. You opened your face to it and took in the heat of it. It burned you in time, didn’t it?  You had all that hope, as you stared into the brightness and transformed into something more wondrous and complex than you were when your love first bloomed.

You held raindrops on your soft petals like love holds a heart.  Life nourished you and you grew bigger than your stature showed.  Your life shined brighter and more sensual. Life also beat down on you, pushed you around, and weakened you. You lost some of your petals to it and your confidence fell down along those lost petals and withered with them.

Don’t you know that you are still beautiful?

Though your petals are now wrinkled and curled, I see only the one I’ve loved from the beginning. Your scars are visible. You can’t hide them anymore. They give you the uniqueness I adore.

Don’t you know that in the middle of all the others, in all their splendor too, I can see no other but you?

If we lived forever in that moment of our full bloom, faultless, and unscathed;  would we need to cherish every moment together now, thinking we would have each other always?

Would I hurry to see your face each day, knowing the changes would never come?

Would I take in your beguiling fragrance, and hold the sweet memory of you in my dreams if I thought your life would never fade from my eyes?

It’s because you will leave me too soon that I cherish every moment I’m with you. Your struggle to stay makes you more dear. Your scars make me love you more for the pain you endured, for me. Let us make this journey together. Do not turn away, as if ashamed of your tarnish. Share it with me; so that I may love you until the last petal of your life falls. The rosehip that remains will remind me of those days when we were young, carefree, and in love.

Look at me. Let us love like we did before when you felt beautiful, and your face glowed in the sun. Let me admire your life as it is and think on your past glory, your rich hue and alluring scent.

Look at me, and let us fall in love again.

18 thoughts on “A Faded Rose

    1. Thank you Sharon. I wanted it to be a message that love doesn’t have to fade with our youth or health. It is certainly easy to grow distant alone but reconnecting with a loved one requires an outstretched hand from both sides.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you P. 🙂 Your hope and desire for love, to give love, will bring it to you. Our youth may be behind us but our capacity for deep and lasting love remains as long as there is a willing heart that beats. This is the year that answers your call. 🙂

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  1. This is stunning. The cry from the heart so moving that I have trouble finding the words.
    Why is it that it is so hard for us women to feel lovable when we are scarred?Why is it that you can still see the beauty that was and still is in her soul, but the mirror will not let her see it? Why are we so afraid, Dan, that our fear walls us off from feeling the love, the source of strength, from comfort and reassurance when we age and need it the most?
    May you have a glorious 2015.Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Em, for taking the time to feel this short plea and respond. I have often observed the stark difference between how one conceptualizes love from the sources in our lives that bombard us daily and the romance of literature, music, and the visual arts that are outpourings of our true nature. To feel unlovable or to be distrusting of love is the cruelest fate. It is the essence of life that compels us to desire love so deeply and yet it is often the first lesson in life that teaches us the depth of sorrow, pain, and suffering. I can only speak for myself, but it is often the fear of experiencing the awful hurt of failure at love that turns us away from it. I often see the greatest beauty in the soul of another whose life is long faded but they have kept their hearts warm, their eyes bright, and possess a weakness to smile at such slight things. It was my hope to say that, however guarded, one is never too old or too scarred, or too faded to love and be loved. Still, it is asking a lot to open one’s heart to the magnificence of love and life knowing the dagger’s stab is always close and never pauses to seek us out. A long held hug and best wishes for the new year to you too Em.

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      1. Fear of pain keeps us shielded yet to love is letting ourselves be vulnerable… Old fools can and do fall in love. I believe you are correct when you say that the essence of life is to desire love, but no matter the desire if the fear of pain is stronger, the heart will be protected from both pain and love. Which is sad.
        Awww that hug was wonderful. Thank you.

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        1. So true, Em. Protecting oneself from pain and love has become an intrinsic way of life for many. It does take time to allow ourselves to be vulnerable again. That’s usually when the tour bus runs over you in the crosswalk. *Sigh* We must always look both ways when crossing that line again. (And you are welcome 🙂

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  2. D
    Very powerful and timely to my own life. Can we still see the beauty thru the wilted petals? I don’t know. I certainly don’t see how someone could see the beauty in me while I’m fighting to stay alive. Beautiful words, I hope they apply to you.
    Hugs 🙂

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    1. M. You must love to be loved. Physical attractiveness is a tool of our youth but as we age those things are no longer as important. It’s the wise soul within that contains the greatest beauty. For others to see it, we need only share it. Of course, we are always our own strongest critic and that can keep one closed off from others.

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      1. D
        True, They have to like what they see when wilted and vice versa. Today I can’t even qualify for wilted, maybe a blob. Still battling back. I see two new doctor next week, hopefully I’ll get some relieve. I can handle anything but prolonged pain.
        Thank you for all the work on the site. I haven’t been there yet, still moving like a snail.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so true AoA. Our challenges often divert us from this truth that a true and lasting love comes in our acceptance of who we are and the choice to give of ourselves and to share our wisdom won from a long hard challenge of living our lives in the best manner we can. Thank you for your lovely comment. 🙂


  3. That is exquisitely lovely, Daniel. Aging should be a beautiful thing. After all, why not be proud we have made it so long? But we deny ourselves the simplest, greatest accomplishment — age.
    Here’s wishing 2015 brings you everything you want. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Teagan! We should look for the beauty in maturity and never believe we are too old to love those near to us. Thank you for the great comment and good wishes. Let 2015 be a year of endless smiles and good fortunes that warm our hearts. HUGS back atcha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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