Comments 12

You can’t make Peace Grow

Alyssa Santos - Rocks.Roots.Wings.



Linking up this post with The Gypsy Mama Five Minute Friday, and I’m terrible at following rules…. but here goes.

Today’s Word: Loss.





I have lamented over my rose bed. In the past two years I’ve dug up and tossed into the recycling bin almost one dozen rose plants.

My once robust and rosy plants couldn’t take what winter has mercilessly thrown at us these past few years.

It’s hard to imagine winter on this July morning all blue skied and jeweled, sprinkler spraying like dazzling diamonds over beds of green. But, a few years ago, we survived the winter it snowed so much (90 inches!) everything was closed for a full week, twice. My kids and I combated cabin fever with copious television watching and hot-cocoa.

The next winter was terribly cold with a snow-meltoff cycle that confirmed that Old Man Winter truly has personality disorder. Two floods in our basement that year and another few roses bit the dust.

I have a rose bush that I purchased as a bare-root stick in 1994, the year we moved into our first house in a sketchy neighborhood. Round with the growing life of our first child, I workedΒ  like a crazy woman to transform our little lot of waist-high weeds into the garden of my dreams. I rolled out sod, I moved rocks. I bought, with a little money, plants. One of them was this rose, Peace.

I moved that rose that flourished on the western side of my first home along with hundreds of other plants, to our second home during a sweltering heat wave in July 2001.

For several years, Peace and her rose-garden friends thrived and made eating al fresco a delight. But those winters came and regardless of my efforts, I just couldn’t make Peace grow.

Loss is like that. It’s out of our control, really. We do our best, we hope, we wait. Sometimes the miracle happens. Sometimes it doesn’t.

And as I was lamenting to my mom about all my dead roses, she said, “Honey, you just have to pull them out to make room for something new. That’s all you can do.”

I can’t make Peace grow.

Loss on any level is difficult to frame neatly into rows, we can’t arrange it to work by our timetables. We are never really prepared for it, for that spade to hit the soil of our hearts’ pain.

When you have suffered loss, of relationship, security, a job, a loved one, how do you reconcile it in your soul?

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writer, christian, wife, mom, happy person, thinker, gardener, encourager, reader...


  1. I love that….”you just have to pull them out to make room for something new. That’s all you can do.” I’m going to file that away as a daily mantra when loss tries to get the better of me.

    • Our mom’s get wiser the older we get, don’t they? My mom’s been saying “Love is a Verb” forever and when I told her I had some pieces being published in a devotional by that name, she said, “Hey! That’s my line!” She’s 82 and is old enough to be Chapman’s mom, so I guess she’s right (again) πŸ™‚ blessings, Aly

      • I hammered “Love is a verb” into my girls’ hearts every opportunity I got as they were growing up! I bet I’d like your mom πŸ™‚

    • I was thinking today that that’s why I garden. I love the beauty and the reward, but the lessons in digging and working, pruning and weeding, they’re endless. Blessings, Aly

  2. Fabulous post! I love that “old man winter has a personality disorder!” I’m sorry about your Peace, what a special connection to memory it was. I hope that new memories and new peace grow in her place!

    • Thank you! For my birthday, my dear friend and I went to a rose grower without any of our kids (8 in all) and she bought me 2 beautiful roses – grown on their own roots, not grafted, so they’ll last and last (we hope) Thanks for coming by!

  3. Wonderful post! I love what your mom said; it really hits at the heart of the matter. I keep wondering when the “wise mom” gene kicks into gear as I haven’t felt it yet. Maybe it takes more time than the “multi-tasking mom” gene.

    You’ll have to tell your mom that DC Talk had a song called “Luv is a Verb” way back when, too. (Not sure if the spelling change makes it different!)

  4. I seek God in my times of loss.
    I lost my dad just a little over a year ago. I’m blessed because I know he’s in a better place, the rest of us are stuck here fighting the inevitable.
    The only peace I know that surpasses human comprehension is our Father in us. In His hand I see all things working for His good will. The beauty of a rose recognized by us, is His gift to us.
    If God allowed those roses to be gone, I suspect you’re in for even more dazzling ones in the future.
    Wonderful post.

  5. You nailed it! I have had similar experiences in life- and with my rose garden. I hurried through to see what you wrote next. Thank you!

  6. This is such a beautiful analogy – and I most especially loved your mom’s input. What wonderfully practical, “mom-ish” insight πŸ™‚ I hope you find some lovely new plants for your outdoor dining pleasure πŸ˜‰ Happy Weekending!

    • My mom has a gift for practical wisdom — sometimes so frustrating, but always spot-on! Thanks — I took the weekend away from my computer and welcomed my dancer home from a month-long absence. It was lovely — I hope you enjoyed down-time too πŸ™‚

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