Marrakech: and a tale of cutting back {or maybe a tale of roses}

I had planted them from the smallest of roots. That was all I could afford then, and I needed so many. Hundreds. Each year they had grown, their branches sturdier, their thorns fiercer. And the blooms…well, it was all about the blooms. {Isn’t it always with roses?} This year an Egyptian friend had urged, Cut them early, two months early. And cut them back, way back. Cut them until there’s almost nothing left. Then they’ll fight like warriors to grow. Gardener Abdullah at Peacock Pavilions had looked at me askance, a small leaf caught in his beard. It’s too early for that, he said, his straw hat fraying on one side. Oh, let’s try it, I said.  And so we did.

And when the slaughter was over, it looked like a wasteland -- a wasteland of rose nothingness. The jagged stems, the rose remains, poked from the ground in painful stubby clusters. And I thought to myself then, What have I done?  {Dismayed, so dismayed at the ugliness.}  Gardener Abdullah said nothing. He just squinted into the sunlight, his clippers hanging loosely from one hand.

But then. Then. Then of course they grew. Slowly, yes, slowly. Until they bloomed and bloomed and bloomed like a snowy sea of petals that stretched out before me.



PS There’s a lesson to be learned here. There’s something to this cutting back. That’s why I have been quiet on this blog the last two weeks. My time here swapped for an attempt at something else. The roots of that something else have not grown much and perhaps they never will. But then again…..perhaps, perhaps...... they will.

1-IMG_4588-001Images by Michelle Gin