The weather has been sort of rough around here lately. Unseasonably cold, a few nights with frost, and then yesterday the final insult for a flower garden – nearly 40 mph wind gusts.

I grow roses in my garden. Actually a lot of roses. Over 100 bushes right now. When I walked outside late this evening, I really wasn’t expecting to see much. Yet, here was this beautiful rose glowing in the last rays of sun. (For you rose aficionados, the rose pictured above is a miniflora called “Showstopper.”) Granted, the edges of the petals are a bit tattered. It is far from a perfect rose. But its color and beauty stopped me in my tracks.

You see, I know what this rose has been through. I know it survived some awfully cold nights. I know it bloomed even with minimal sunlight the past few days. I know it was buffetted against other rose branches, with thorns no less, for hours yesterday. And still it has the audacity to open up today and add some beauty to a little corner of my garden. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised because some rose varieties actually grow larger and have better color in cooler weather. But this bloom seemed even more precious because I knew what it had been through.

Sometimes I feel like that rose. I’m blown and tossed in every direction possible and work in conditions that are far less than favorable. But I can still do my best. I can still brighten my corner of the world. There will be rough spots, but beauty is still possible. Perhaps that which seems on the surface to be a negative in my life can actually help make my world grow larger and brighter.