Roses in Winter

IMG_1346 On the South Texas Gulf coast,  Winter brings us more shirt sleeve days than those where we reach for jackets and gloves.  Recently, cool wet weather has spurred our roses to fresh bloom.  Winter roses have deeper, richer color than those earlier in the year.  Their fragrance seems sweeter and more compelling. Part of their brilliance is that they bloom in a stark and colorless garden. Leaves have browned and dropped.  Bare twiggy branches stand out against pewter skies. My Winter roses glow againstt this drab palette

Advent days begin with a canvas held down with layers of gray heaviness. With expectantcy we watch for Christmas coming again, and welcome the blooming in our hearts..Christmas comes again, richer, deeper, sweeter, more compelling.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to us a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger they found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load  ~ 15th century carol