Once upon a time, as this we know dear children is how all good stories begin, in a land that flowed with blacktop rivers and concrete shorelines, there was a small and modest garden. The Garden was in fact a smallish incline of dirt, too small even to be called a hill, and was really more of a mound of earth that provided living quarters for fat wiggly earthworms. (These earthworms then in turn provided food for the rather greedy robins, but that dear children is another story for another time.)
At the top of the smallish hill, which was really a mound, grew a rose bush, or at least this is what the village wisewoman thought it was. She was never really quite sure, for it never bloomed all the years she lived in the cement forest. Each year she pruned it back, each year she offered it gifts of crystals and food and each year it did nothing.
Oh once, she thought it would bloom, when it grew taller than it had ever done before, and even shot forth one tiny bud!
''This is the year!'' she thought with glee. But sadly there never was more than a tiny green bud and it soon simply withered and died.
Another year, when she thought she would truly tend to the business of it's nurturing, she noticed tiny aphids consuming the rose bush's delicious leaves. She promptly consulted her books and concocted a wonderful herbal spray that was sure to rid her friend from the tiny green pests, but alas, nothing happened and all the wisewoman was left with were rudely chewed up leaves.
Now one thing dear children, that I have failed to relay to you, was that very near by the rose bush, in fact right in front of it, dwelt another bush, a rather large and not so very handsome conifer bush. The conifer was not a favorite of the village wisewoman, but as she was loathe to disregard any living being, she simply could not remove it.
When the young women of the village would stop by for a visit, or to admire her herbs, they would often encourage the wisewoman to rid herself of the unattractive and cumbersome bush, but she refused to entertain such a thought, instead trying to groom it occasionally hoping to shape it up some how. Even as she would wistfully look at her lovely lady lavender being crowded out by it's bristly green branches, she would not consider ridding her garden of it's presence.
Finally, after years of nurturing the Rose Bush that wouldn't bloom, the village wisewoman threatened it.
"If you do not bloom next year, I shall chop you down and be done with you!! What good is a rose bush that won't bloom! You are simply a bush of thorns!"
The Rose Bush that wouldn't bloom felt very sad. She knew the real reason she could not bring forth her true beauty, but she could not seem to make wisewoman understand. Just as the winter snow was about to blanket the cement forest for a long winter's nap, the Rose Bush that wouldn't bloom whispered a prayer to the heavens. "Please, show her."
Winter was long and cold that year and the snow deep. One storm was particularly harsh and lay such a blanket of snow on the earth that the conifer bushes branches finally buckled under the pressure of it all. When spring returned the village wisewoman saw that the conifer bush had split in half and that his branches were broken and lame.
"Oh dear," she sighed, "I suppose you've left me with no choice. You must go now."
Although she had grown accustomed to him being there, she felt slightly guilty because she immediately began dreaming of all she would plant in the space that would be left behind.
Some men from the village came by and removed the conifer bush and the village wisewoman bid him farewell. She immediately began to fill the space that was left with lovely purple flowers.
She looked at the Rose Bush who wouldn't bloom and said, "Is this the year we too part, my friend?"
Not too many days later she noticed her lavender seemed to suddenly stand taller.
"My, my lady lavender, you look lovely! Could it have been...?" she began to wonder.
As she pondered her thoughts she set her eyes to the top of her hill, that was really a mound and saw that the Rose Bush who wouldn't bloom seemed to be greening quite nicely.
"Hmmm," she thought to herself, "You have done this before old friend. For 10 years I have waited for you to bloom and for 10 years you have done nothing. You are simply a rose bush that will not bloom, you are just branches and thorns."
One day as she was returning from time in the village, she looked up at the hill, that was really a mound and could not believe her eyes! What was this? The Rose Bush that would not bloom was covered in buds! The village wisewoman excitedly ran over to examine her. She clapped her hands happily as she realized this could be the year!
Day after day, the village wisewoman would go out to her garden and check on the Rose Bush that finally budded, but nothing was happening. Was it yet another false alarm? Would the aphids return and devour the now tall rose bush?
One early morning as the village wisewoman went out to the garden, the Rose Bush whispered her name. The village wisewoman could hardly believe her eyes, yet there in front of her where once the Rose Bush who wouldn't bloom stood, was now the Rose Bush filled and filled with roses and buds!!!
for the truth is dear children, that even wisewoman are daily learning and seeking wisdom, but the most challenging wisdom it seems for them to discover is the wisdom of themselves.