Speak softly. Tread lightly. Be understanding and kind and forgiving. Most of all, be gentle.
She whispers to me from somewhere deep within. She touches my hand, guides it with care to the petals of the roses in her garden. She speaks in hushed tones over steaming cups of tea.
She sees my pain, my fear, my stubbornness and she is saddened.
How has the world been so dark for you for so long?
She doesn’t need an answer, for she already knows it all. She has witnessed everything within and without, and she knows that this is the only way that it could have gone. She knows that, regardless of whether I was allowed to choose again, I would find myself in the same sea-side garden, sitting beside her and her roses, feeling the same feelings that I am now.
Be gentle, my child – this world is so harsh, so sharp, that there is a need for long, drawn-out curves and gently winding roads. There is a void where softness should be. Be the softness that this world, your world, needs.
She leaves me for the comfort of her flowers to contemplate her words. She is grace and wisdom and foresight as she walks down the slightly uneven path to the back garden, all the while reaching her hands out to feel the leaves and flowers and yes, even the thorns.
There is a place for those sharp points in life. They protect us, they teach us, but most of all they lead us to the beauty of the rose at the top of the stem.