something bright in the cold winter gray

On a cold day in November I found that which I will treasure.  The sky was a bright bright blue, bluer than ice.  The sunlight that day was weak and almost sheepish in its light, still I had thought to go for a walk.  The snow crunched under my feet like powdered diamonds.  The trees which had once seemed warm and friendly now appear downright hostile and scary.

In the distance I see a small house with smoke trailing slowly out of the chimney top. I walk around to one of the windows with its glazing of frost overlaying the pane and peer inside. The small one-room cabin is deserted.  On one arm of the thread bare couch a bright red wool blanket lies folded.  There is a small table playing at Sentinel in the middle of the room, like the last acolyte devoted to a forgotten faith.  In the corner of the room where wall meets ceiling a lone Weaver spider spins its web trying desperately to survive the winter.  I smile at the spider and wish it well though I doubt it will be there by the end of the month.  There’s something about it though, its web glistening in the sunlight like living frost.  I pray a futile prayer for the spider that it may live to see spring.

Walking around the back of the cabin I find the most unexpected sight.  A small greenhouse half buried under snow. Inside the greenhouse are roses, blue roses as a matter of fact at first I think the roses have turned blue because they have somehow frozen despite the heat of the greenhouse. On further inspection it occurs to me that they really are blue, a blue only a few shades shy of black. Carefully I pick one of the roses, ever mindful of its thorns , or so I thought.The pad of mine from catches the edge of a stray thorn and I immediately put it in my mouth hoping that none of the blood has fallen on to my clothing.  Too late I realize the rose in my hand is now spattered with blood. I look down and nearly drop the fragile flower in my hand.

The flower was indeed changed.  At the tips of the petals there is now the smallest hint of red. My fingers gently skim the flowers surface in what is probably a vain attempt to remove the blood which has altered its unique perfection. To my surprise when I pull my fingers away nothing comes with them.  It’s almost as though the rose had soaked up the blood as soon as it fell.

Back at home I turn the heat up and put the rose clipping in a small flower pot because it is far too cold to plant in the ground outside yet.  Watering it three times a week soon becomes habit and I find myself hoping that this fragile beauty will make it through the winter to spring, I was also still silently cheering for the Weaver spider, the lone inhabitant of the cabin whose greenhouse this amazing flower had come from.

Spring eventually did come around and miraculously the rose made it.  I have watched the roses for years now.  Like the first rose, all of the succeeding generations are blue with red tips. Sometime around
the second year it had been planted in the ground, the roses began to climb.  Now my house is covered with them.  The other odd thing about these roses is that they don’t die in the winter but continue to bloom as though doing otherwise would be admitting defeat.

I went back to the cabin recently. Surprisingly, the Weaver spider or at least one of her daughters is still there.  The couch is still threadbare and the table still stands guard over the room.  There worea few things different though.  The red blanket had been spread across the back of the couch instead of folded this time, and on the little table stood a picture frame of antique silver which contained sepia toned photographs of a man and woman on either side.  There was one last thing that I found on the table  Lying just in front of the frame was a blue rose with red tips.


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