When tempted to think wistfully about fall in New England, I go on a Rose Hunt. The roses of Oxford, my friends, are spectacular. I have heard many times about English roses but I am now seeing them for myself. They are everywhere; in warm vibrant colors, crawling up plaster cottages, waving at me over fences.
People will have these narrow front gardens (think: yards), sometimes paved over with stones or perhaps with little bitty rug-sized blocks of perfect green grass. What redeems them are the borders of roses. One house on the way to the park has large blooming roses in six different colors. Just quietly growing, glorifying the Creator in vivid orange and pink and white. I think the inhabitants must think I’m casing the joint for a robbery, I stop there so often and stare. Someone with a love of beauty tends those things. I don’t care if it should turn out to be a crabby old man with hair in his ears and a plumber’s crack, he has a beautiful soul.
How long will it last? It’s already chilly mid-October and the roses bloom on. New buds are opening, on some of them. Surely this cannot continue. Do even the roses “keep calm and carry on” in this country? Will there be a day when the final buds bloom and the last petals fall? When? Norah and I are on it. We’ll let you know.