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Everlasting joy

   The English poet John Keats once wrote such a poem, "Beautiful things are eternal joy." Eternal love is more beautiful than roses.

  Every time I smell the scent of roses, I think of eternal love. I'm a freelance journalist and I had the privilege of interviewing an old man a few years ago. His name is James Charrett, and his story is fascinating. His beloved wife died 20 years ago, and his wife loved roses very much.

  He asked the pastor of his parish if he could plant some roses on the sidewalk of the church in honor of his wife. Of course the priest there promised him.

  James has grown some rose bushes in lovely pinks, deep yellows and fragrant reds. He was retired at the time, so he had a lot of free time. Those roses grew lush and beautiful under his careful care.

  But he told me that the limited number of roses seemed not enough; they were not enough to fully express his love for his wife. He asked the priest if he could plant some more roses. Once again the priest complied with his request.

  This time James planted some different varieties of roses. Among them are the rare deep burgundy roses and the hard-to-find violet roses, as well as the silver roses and hybrid roses cultivated in memory of others.

  But even so, he was not satisfied with the roses that expressed his inner feelings. He approached the pastor again and asked him if he could use the open space next to the church that belonged to the church. Once again the priest complied with his request.

  So James planted more roses there, but he still didn't think it was enough, he continued planting roses along the sidewalks of the block around the church and the clearing, and finally the church and the surrounding clearing were all covered with roses surrounded.

  Now rose bushes are everywhere; their fragrance fills the air, and the colourful and flamboyant flowers attract the eye, and their scent, along with the laughter of the children playing in the church clearing, accompanies the breeze floating in the air. Couples and couples walk hand in hand on the rose-covered sidewalk. The ladies in charge of decorating the altar cut the largest and most fragrant roses to decorate the church and the altar, filling the whole church with the color and fragrance of love.

  One afternoon after James's decades-long project to honor his late wife, I went to visit the rose garden with him. It has been many years since I first interviewed him. The roses are now being looked after by a man hired by the church because James can no longer take care of them himself. He's so old and frail now that my nurse and I had to half-lift him to the garden to help him get settled in his wheelchair. His wheelchair was in the middle of the rose bushes. We sat under a pergola, one of his favorite places to sit and rest on a hot summer day.

  I sat there quietly with him, in the midst of the aroma of countless blooming roses. What keeps his love in his heart forever? What is it that the two of them have that remains in the other's heart even after one's death, that many of us have pursued throughout our lives?

  At that time, it occurred to me that some people are like prisms: anyone who has a light in his heart can approach that person and, through him, refract his light in many different colors, like the colors of these roses around us Same. The prism itself cannot emit light, nor can light itself be broken down into those lovely colors that make up the rainbow. James Charrett's wife may have been like a prism, able to magnify and refract her husband's light. He perfected her because she perfected him. At that moment, I thought, she must be smiling at him while looking at these gifts he planted for her.

  When I took his thin old hand and watched him smile at me - a little sadness in his smile, even though it was a delightful summer solstice day, I found myself wishing for the love I had found Slightly stronger than the scent of a rose, and hopefully it will last as long as James' love.

  It is my hope that in order for our love to continue throughout our lives and even through our debilitating twilight years, we will nurture it, even beyond the boundaries of life and death. Maybe our love can become a beauty, a perpetual joy, like those roses that grow for many years and keep blooming.



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