A rosebud fair in a garden grew, tiny and pale and shy. The sun shone out of a sky of blue, and the soft winds floated by, but it wrapped itself in its petals cold and seemed to say, "I will not unfold."
A woman came in the sunset light -- "O shy little rose," she cried, "Why don't you open your eyes and smile? Is it laziness, temper or pride? The spring is here and the world is glad. Why do you look so pale and sad?
Don't think me meddlesome -- it's because I love you so, you see. I cannot trust in the wind and sun. It all depends on me!" And she forced each delicate leaf apart till she reached its glowing, golden heart.
As the stars came out she stole away through the garden's fragrant gloom. "It won't be long," she gaily cried, "till my rose will be in bloom, and then how happy it will be to think it had a friend like me."
But when she chanced that way again, instead of her rose she found a poor stiff thing whose withered leaves were strewing the muddy ground. A storm had beaten, the wind had blown, and the calyx stood on its stem alone.
She bowed her head. "Will I never learn!" she whispered. "Dear patient One! I pray for wisdom, another time to wait for the wind and sun -- to trust that the power which made the rose will see that it lives and thrives and grows!"
Another rose in the garden grew, tiny and pale and cold. "It is love," she said, "and not self-will that will help my rose unfold. Have I not courage, God above, to do what is best for the thing I love?"
Then the moment came when she saw the last of the shy pink leaves unfold, and the air was filled with a perfume rare straight from its heart of gold. And it seemed to say, "O tried and true, I am glad that I had a friend like you."
Excerpted from Teach Me to Love and Other Poems by Louise Wheatley Cook Hovnanian, Allen Publications, Kansas City, MO 1948.