Thorns in the Garden


Pokey, painful thorns.

Rose gardeners understand thorns probably better than any other gardener. The beautiful rose is usually surrounded by thorns…..a type of plant protection.

I was once pruning Bon Silene, a beautiful Antique Rose, back after a long winter. This particular rose was very aggressive. As in, over the top aggressive. As in, canes as large as tree branches, and thorns the size of my thumb joint. (Note to self…stay away from Bon Silene!!)

I always garden without gloves (bad mistake). I reached in with the pruning sheers, and a massive thorn went into the nail bed of my thumb and broke off. I think childbirth was not that painful!!!!!! My toddlers saw my face go white as I processed how to dig out the painful thorn. Yes……I cussed. I even cried. I wondered why on earth did I enjoy roses in the first place?!.

Thorns become the obstacles that can keep us from the good stuff…..If we allow them too. All to often, we focus on the challenges we face. We don’t keep our eyes on the prize….the rose. We let our setbacks dictate our future. Our thorns become our story instead of the beautiful rose the thorn is actually protecting. In fact, I’ve never seen a beautiful rose without nasty thorns.

For this New Year, I challenge us to let go of the thorns in our life. The painful reminders of thorny experiences. The obstacles we face when pursuing beauty. The thorns in our own flesh we simply can’t let go.

Thorns can rob us of joy, beauty and all the wonder a life has to offer…..especially in the garden. So take a moment and breathe in the scent of a rose. Let your eyes gaze upon the beauty, and see the thorn for what it really is…..

A chance to see a beautiful rose.