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In the Eye of the Beholder

In the Eye of the BeholderThe sign on the gate said Chef’s Garden. The place looked abandoned. No one was looking so she entered, and right away was drawn to a patch of blue. Fresh, frosty, mentholated blue.

Oh, that color. An icy, almost iridescent blue that could thaw into green or purple with the passing of a cloud. A blue you could fly in. Or float in. Like the color of snow at twilight, a ghostly pale blue that defied reality. And petals with ridged edges, like the gnawed ears of tomcats. Leaves that opened to the sun, yet wrapped the flower’s core tightly in shadow.

Blue roses, she thought. How beautiful. For an hour she photographed them up and down, zooming in and out.

She knew her roses. Roses were a symbol of love: Pink roses showed appreciation and gratitude. Yellow roses said Remember Me. White was the bridal rose, and orange meant excitement and desire. Peach-colored roses extended sympathy. The darkest crimson was for sorrow and grief. Over the course of her life she’d given and gotten them all.

But a blue rose. That was special. A rarity in nature, a blue rose symbolized the impossible, the unattainable. An unrealizable dream, a never-to-be-fulfilled wish. Or it could mean starting all over again but on a different path, and triumphing against all odds. A blue rose could represent immortality. Or the death of hope.

She considered her situation, her life. All the changes. The sorrows. Worries. Things she was grateful for. Things regretted. She thought of the manuscript she’d written and was returning to, her dreams of traveling, her yearning to discover who and where she was meant to be. Now, finding a whole patch of these roses, was this a blessing? Or –

Later, when she viewed all the photos she’d taken in the garden, it was the ones of the blue roses she kept coming back to. The camera had almost perfectly captured the moonshadow-blue color. Her eyes danced over each image with something like joy.

People told her, that’s just a rotting cabbage riddled with wormholes. But she knew better.


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