The Three Yellow Roses

By Nigar Ataulla


My backyard garden is host to different creatures who are my friends—cute little squirrels, with bushy tails and baby mice, with very naughty long tails; tiny birds that sit on the fence, mynahs and crows; and, of course, cats. I say ‘hello’ to them when I spot them, and off they run again to carry on with their busy work for the day, and so do I!
Amidst this routine, one day I suddenly spotted a very pretty yellow rose which had bloomed in a corner, surrounded by wild bushes, plants and stones. It must have been at least five days old and I had not even noticed it despite the fact that I keep scampering to the backyard at least twice or thrice a day.


I must confess that I did feel guilty, not acknowledging its presence there ever since it had bloomed. I stood and kept looking at it and realized that in it, there were many lessons for me to learn about life. The rose had quietly bloomed. It did not announce to the world it was there. It did not wait for someone to come and say ‘How beautiful you are!’ For that matter, it did not even ask for a sprinkling of water! It was just there, swaying happily in the cool breeze, content and calm. It did not complain that its existence was not noticed!
There’s much humans could learn from that rose. Often, they expect to be acknowledged and praised. They want everybody to think that they are somebody. They are burdened by thoughts of their security, their future, their present and the big baggage of past that they carry around. They have a box full of complaints, starting from the weather, their work, their families, their lives and grouses against so many things.
Our egos stop us from looking within ourselves and realizing that ‘We are nothing”.
God gives abilities to all human beings and creatures in the universe to bloom and glow. But we humans keep looking at only the thorns around us and simply fail to bloom. We work, we eat, sleep, carry on with our routines, or even work for a noble cause that will help humanity….But all this can be done quietly, like the yellow rose, without expectations of name, fame, power, position or praise. It’s again a question of dissolving our egos deep into the earth, just like the roots of the rose plant.
A few days later, when I went out to the backyard, I saw the yellow rose had withered away and two more fresh yellow roses had bloomed! This time, I looked at the withered rose and patted all the three roses and thanked them for being there and teaching me another big important truth of life: We all can bloom and live quietly, and also go back to God quietly like the withered rose. The rose was around just for a few days and made place for two fresh roses to bloom. As long as it was around and fresh, it spread its fragrance and swayed contentedly in the breeze!
Thank you yellow roses, you taught me that it’s important not how long one lives, but, rather, how one lives! n

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