Planting Roses

Blog 2189 – 10.15.2021

Planting Roses

One of my favorite classic movies is the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara romantic comedy set in Ireland, The Quiet Man. The film came out on September 14, 1952 just short of two years before I began this my most recent adventure in space and time.

Professional prize fighter Shaun “Trooper” Thornton has returned from America to a small town in Ireland, his birth place, to live a quiet life and to try to forget the tragedy of killing another fighter in the ring. His quest is to buy the small cottage that he was born in and to spend the remainder of his life in peace and beauty. He has vowed to himself never to fight again. But though the setting is far north and east of the usual Wayne film it would not be a John Ford/John Wayne collaboration without the signature big fight scene.

Shaun falls for the beautiful red-headed Mary Kate Danaher whose belligerent brother Will’s farm neighbors the small piece of ground that contains the Thornton cottage. It is owned by the widow Sarah Tillane played American actress, Mildred Natwick, who won a Prime Time Emmy Award and was nominated for an Academy Award and two Tony Awards. Will, portrayed by actor Victor McLaglen, has long hoped to marry the Widow Tillane and join their properties together, so he is incensed when she decides to sell the small piece of ground and cottage to Shaun.

Mary Kate as a good Christian neighbor, despite her brother’s animosity toward their new neighbor, goes over to secretly clean the cottage before Shaun takes possession, but is surprised by his earlier than expected arrival. He kisses her and the sparks fly. At one point after they are wed she asks him if he ever intends to grow anything besides flowers on the place and he says, “Nope.”

Except for a few tomatoes, if I can ever get them to grow, in our back yard in Houston, Texas, flowers are all I hope to grow, for to quote Jesus words on the matter, “Consider the lillies for they neither toll nor spin, but I tell you than even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

I once shocked my dad when I was a young man by buying him a dozen roses for his birthday. I remembered having heard him say more than once “Give me my roses now, don’t wait till I die.” At his funeral fifty years later there was a large blanket of red roses on his coffin and the bony red, white, and blue flag he served as both a Navy Sea Bee and a U.S. Army burial escort in World War Two.

I am so glad that I got to give him that dozen red Roses long before his passing. Parents, children do listen to the words you say. They may not always obey, but they do listen.

I have enjoyed a lot of roses in my life and plan to plant and grow them for others to enjoy long after I am gone. Don’t be planning any funeral for me right away though, I have some roses and tomatoes to grow.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

The Rose

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