A Rose By Any Other Name

I love yard work! Not only do I find it therapeutic, I get a lot of head-writing done while pushing the mower.

I appreciate that the neighbors on each side of us work hard to keep weeds at bay. Last week there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, one of our neighbors said, “Please keep Willa and Lexi in for a while because I’ve sprayed for weeds on both sides of the chain link fence.”

Thanking her for her thoughtfulness, I stepped outside to see the weeds she was referring to. Wouldn’t you know it—they were the little purple flowers that I actually encourage to grow. I think they’re beautiful! I’m glad they’re still plentiful on the other side of the yard where they grow in profusion the full length of the privacy fence.

It’s been said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” meaning that “beauty” depends on who’s doing the looking—the “beholder.”

What is your definition of beauty?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

79 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name

  1. I agree. I keep some of the weeds as they provide shelter for insects, worms, etc, which are beneficial to the garden, but I try to keep them under control. I too find weeding and gardening in general therapeutic; I just wish the weather made up its mind this year and stayed warm so that I could do more work outdoors.

  2. what a fabulous post, Laurie! thanks for sharing. it’s a great reminder that life is all about how you look at things. focus on the positive, and on “beauty” wherever you can find it. 🙂

  3. Hum! I believe Laurie I might have a quiet natural definition of beauty that leans slightly towards melancholy with sweeping spaces and movements. Beauty has an underlying sense of peace for me… and it smells nice, like sandalwood soap and lavender.

  4. Grrrrrrr…my neighbor said the same thing about some of these wild flowers growing in the easement area of my property near the sidewalk.

    A quote from my last post “The miracles of nature do not seem miracles because they are so common. If no one had ever seen a flower, even a dandelion would be the most startling event in the world.”

    And, as for spraying chemicals, there are just other ways to get rid of weeds.

    Mow and write on!

  5. Beauty is certainly tied to context (ex. women’s beauty over the ages) and sensibilities. I can find beauty and it’s cousins (awe, wonder, sublime) … in seeing the star sky from the wilderness; or my first view of the northern lights or simply noticing yesterday that there were small buds on the bush at the end of my driveway. The is beauty too in a child’s smile; laughter around a table; so many little moments of connection. Beauty in the quiet moment. Thanks for asking; a fun reflection.

  6. As they say, one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. But I am horrified that people in this day and age are still using weed killer chemicals…. unfortunately they don’t stay put but seep out into the world in the soil, the water and the air. I don’t think I would be thanking her for her “thoughtfulness,” just the opposite!!!

    • RMW – Especially because of our animal companions, we’ve used alternative methods for years. As an example, whenever we get ants, we sprinkle coffee grounds on their “trail” and they shift gears immediately and head elsewhere. And if for some reason our dogs decided to eat the coffee grounds, no harm done.

  7. Oh we have a great many of those wood violets in our yard, we encourage them as a ground cover, along with Woodruff and dandelions near my father in law’s 27 roses we inherited. The Aphids like those dandelions best!

    Beauty – I just try to keep beauty in mind all the time – it works better than saying relax or find God in this person….I just think look for the beauty and I never seem to miss finding it. I do not have success if I am tense and worried or being attacked…I have to come back later and revisit to find the beauty in the event.

    Will share!
    I just love roses – they are so easy to find beautiful, thorns and all 🙂

  8. I don’t like doing yard work at all. I had someone cut my grass last week and the fact that I hate doing it so much, the grass was growing two days later. It’s a burden that takes up a lotta time. I always manage to get in a solid night’s sleep afterwards though but I don’t like sleep all that much either. I’m gonna get somebody else to do it as much as I can.

  9. I’ve been looking all over for the beauties that I used to pick by the fistful as a child. It’s a bit of a challenge for the dandelion as well now that our childhood favorites are considered a nuisance & imperfect for the landscape of the urban & sub~urban green farmers alike… I myself didn’t consider them the gift that they are until researching the healing benefits that God provided for us through our nature that surrounds us on every side as well as inside each one of us~
    Wonderful post Laurie…sharing~

  10. Hi Laurie

    I don’t have a “definition” of beauty, it is not a rational thing, but rather something I experience.

    It seems that the experience of beauty comes from the mix of genetic, cultural and experiential factors that go to make up the unique beings that we all are, and that the holographic recall mechanisms of our brains “join the dots” on all of that data in the way that is most relevant to the context of our minds in that instant.

    Sometimes, the connections so formed have a sublime quality that resonate across multiple domains of experience and being – and this seems to be what we experience as beauty.

    It seems it can be triggered by what is seemingly the most insignificant of things, or the most profound – it is almost impossible to consciously predict what is going to trigger it; a falling leaf, a flash of light, a curve (or a girlie set of curves), a sound, an idea.

    To me they are like little gems on the journey of life.

    • Ted – I think it’s cool that we can’t know in advance what’s going to trigger the experience of beauty. Like you said it could be something insignificant or profound. We just have to wait and be surprised 🙂

  11. Yikes !! Those look like Violets to me. I find them “simply” beautiful. I honor them in my flower processional spring song. I arrived here today because the title you shared at ANG and a serendipitous quotation felt to me as if they belonged together –

    “The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

    I think an awareness of beauty is that important to abundant well-being. Apprehending beauty is a soul fully engaged with the preciousness of life.

  12. My back yard is a mixed bag, clover, violets by the thousand, fecue and some bermuda. It is a turf managers nightmare and so perfect for me! When the violets and forget-me-nots are in bloom there is a sheen of purple covering the surface, when the clover is blooming, very much like an explosion of popcorn. With all the rain we’ve had it seems I’ve got popcorn fore and aft, which is fine. I can wait another day to mow.

    • Sandi – “…a sheen of purple,” and “…an explosion of popcorn.” Those are perfect descriptors! And it’s reassuring for me to know that a Master Gardener enjoys a bit of color other than green in her lawn 🙂

  13. Unselfishness/benevolence is always beautiful to my eyes wherever and whenever I behold that being displayed .

  14. “Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.”
    ― George Santayana

    Santayana beautifully defines beauty, and I’d be hard pressed to contest it. But in more tangible terms it’s discernible is a great painting, symphony or opera aria or the sky in the sunset or the picturesque wonder of a snowfall on a winter landscape. Beauty is all around us for sure, we just need to focus on it and embrace it, cherish it, and hold on on it as long as possible.

    Great post Laurie!

  15. Really? They were weeds? LOL! I am not sure I can find any way to understand that one. Oh well…beauty to me is courage and resilience. That comment probably wouldn’t have rung quite so true or been my first thought if I hadn’t just been watching some news coverage from Oklahoma. I’m just a little overwhelmed at what people endure, and how they respond under pressure, often with more grace than I can even imagine!

  16. A violet by any other name is a violet! Weed my foot! Earlier in the season, summer is upon us here on the East Coast, in all the lawns are white violets, they are truly amazing, of course this when everyone begins to mow their lawns…

    You know my definition of beauty! It can be found in anything and everywhere, just look and see, with your hearts eyes!

  17. I agree, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” The more we appreciate the simplest of things and all that the day has to give, the more we realize how blessed we are. Have a wonderful day my friend.

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  19. Very lovely, Laurie. I like all kinds of beauty (such as the beautiful geraniums my mom just planted) but there is a special place in this heart for ordinary unexpected beauty. Little purple flowers, an unexpected kindness, delight when you least expect it. Yes! That’s what delights this heart. Unexpected beauty. In small or large form, human or otherwise. My heart grows six sizes every day with the unexpected gifts of beauty the Universe shares.

  20. Beautiful flowers! I had some wild flowers growing in my front yard and I refused to let my husband mow over them. So we have an odd-shaped yard…to some. 🙂

  21. Oh – the question: My definition of beauty? When someone is lost in doing something they enjoy.

  22. You draw out a very important point with your brief analogy. Your neighbour intended well, but what was weed to her, was flower to you.
    Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
    I have previously written a post to that effect.
    http://teeceecounsel.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/advice-beauty-admiration-standards-and-self-optimization/
    We’ve got to aim high and work hard to reach our ideals. People around us don’t see things through our eyes. Lovely post!

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  25. People mean well…but sometimes…smile…I know what you mean about beauty being in the eye of the beholder–my granddaughter Nadia brought me the dandelion with a wonderful smile on her face! I accepted it and placed it in water! She was so proud and I am so grateful for her kind heart in my life!

  26. thoughtful yes…but oh the wood violets! they are used in tussy mussies…!
    wild ones have an incredible fragrance, early morning and late evening….
    I am glad you are encouraging them Laura…!
    they are so pretty….
    Take Care…
    )0(
    maryrose

  27. I can’t imagine wanting to get rid of those beautiful purple flowers, Laurie! Like you say, thank goodness you have your own side of the fence. 🙂

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