Quietly I ponder the difference between the thorns of a rose bush and those of a cactus. You know how quickly the delicate petals of a rose fall to the ground. Once opened so quickly they drop. The thorns of a rose bush point downward, as if to point to their gentle loss and beauty so brief. The cactus with its long defiant thorns point upwards. The cactus thorns point upward defying anyone or anything to touch either the gentle bloom or their petals which hold the precious water. Rose bushes require tending and depend upon the rains of life to sustain them, and they grow into full bushes. The cactus has learned to survive in drought, heat and hardened waterless earth, so often in a solitary stance.
Perhaps the rose offers such a lasting sweet fragrance, wide long arms, and downward pointing thorns, to remind us how precious and sweet, yet brief, life can be. That we must tend, water and prune, yet, even with the tending, the delicate petals will fall. Acceptance. The cactus in drought, with its oasis of water filled green petals and upward pointing thorns, remind us to look upward and mindful of where we walk but fearing not the heated hardened earth and drought nor the quite solitude of presence, life is green and even dryness yields a flower. Faithfulness.
To walk mindfully knowing both the brevity and steadfastness of Life. To walk mindfully seeing both the upward thorns of the cactus and the fallen petals of the rose. To look upward towards the sun of Life that sometimes feels as if it is baking and drying up our souls, and yet we see the blooms and our thirst is quenched. And, with a giggle and smile, should we lose our walk lose its mindfulness, Life sends a sharp poke through our "soles" to bring us back to attention.