The old house stood as a sentry of
time. The sagging porch hadn’t welcomed
anyone for many years. Only the wind
broke the eerie silence surrounding the
house and the neighborhood. Inside, the
walls and ceilings were patched, the floorboards
worn and uneven.
As the woman looked on, a rat scurried
from under the door to a hole in the
cracked foundation. Soon bulldozers would
level this condemned area.
The woman pushed open the gate to the
backyard where one single rosebush, covered
with roses, bloomed expansively. She pulled
a few weeds, smelled the blooms, and smiled
to herself as she remembered planting
the bush. It had been here bit of
heaven, her only luxury, a precious moment
of which she thought of as a victory,
a spot of beauty in this slum.
Her home was just a shanty, but it
was her domain. She had spoken to
her rosebush, sharing ideas and stories of
ambitions and failures. She felt a closeness
seldom experienced for anything else around
Come the dawn she had no place to go.
Her few belonging could be placed in a
Her faded brown eyes filled with tears
that fell on the roses. She couldn’t even
take her rosebush-her one last joy. It was
doomed to be buried under the rumble.
The curse of poverty had pursued her
year after year and she had yielded to
despondency at times.
The one joy in her life would be gone,
now that the roof over her head would
be destroyed. Sudden burst of loneliness
overwhelmed her; She felt helpless and
forlorn. She lingered for a few moments,
fondly looking at the flowers and
inhaling their sweet smell.
The bulldozers came, rattling thier
iron tracks, pushing and leveling, tearing
down trees and houses. New owners and
old residents each thought they were
in the right. She wonder, “Does progress
justify the suffering it creates?” The
woman watched from afar as the rosebush
was crushed in the ground. Broken were
the stems, and broken was her heart. She
cried silent tears, with no one to lend a
helping hand, no one to want her.
Why couldn’t they restore and repair, and
ease a few lives, she thought. As she slowly
turned around clutching her bag to her
chest, she smelled the bloom she taken with her
the spicy fragrance still lingering. In her helplessness
she clenched and shook her small fist at the workers,
her only way of coping.
To her they were unknown people, humans
in inhuman ways. Reality did not compromise
to fit her needs and her and her aching heart. They
didn’t care. What’s a rosebush and a tree
to “progress” She wondered if they
would ever learn that newer and modern
weren’t necessarily better.
A year past and the woman survived. Her
faith had faltered but survival made her
able to endure. One day in June, she
wandered past the old site, five-story
apartment buildings, structured with concrete,
submerged the old and broken neighborhood.
It looked impressive was all she could think.
This was the power of progress, not a
tree in sight! She wasn’t educated , but
knew that trees moderate temperatures,
absorb noise, and increase atmospheric moisture.
Yes, and she knew. Having reached the
long endeavor, she found exactly
where her house stood. She knew the block
from one end to the other. In the old day
she would sometimes walked the path, to surprised herself.
There in all of it its glory and splendor, was the rosebush!
Bigger and more beautiful than ever, it was leaning
against a tall privacy fence.
She mused at the stories this bush could tell. It had the
ability to pierce the earth with a single shoot and
bring perfection and beauty once again.
Like herself, it had endured; stoutly set, just
just waiting to burst forth after
sunshine and God-given rain.
Gratitude touched her heart. Her sparse
dark brown hair was tossed by summer
wind as she shook her head in wonder, and
in her eyes a spark of of joy set her painful
memory free forever free. The beauty of the
rosebush welcomed her. She felt peaceful
at the sight of both hope and life. Some things
are meant to be. She felt a kinship with the rosebush.