Concrete Roses.

It is a warm summers evening in 2002. I am a twenty-one year old kid who has seen more brutality than he wishes, yet remains clueless to the true realities of life in the human labyrinth. I am a kind-hearted, well meaning, and introverted human being. I am weary of people, but lacking wisdom to know who to allow in, and who to keep out; over the next decade, this will all slowly reveal itself to me, as it does to the majority of others. But here, in 2002 – I choose to believe everybody else is just like me, and carry genuine concern for every person they meet. 

I am looking upon a football pitch-sized car park of a Toy store in Brent Cross. The area is surrounded with random cars, discarded shopping trolleys, and an abundance of human ambition which has flattened natures plan. As usual, I am thinking - I am always thinking. This is a part of me I appreciate most of all; the ability to quietly consider thoughts and ideas; random, logical, emotional, subversive – silly… it really doesn’t matter. I just love to build theories in my mind which make sense – at least to me, anyway. I still do.

I stand in the middle of the paved car park, looking down at the only sight which has managed to catch my attention; a single Red Rose flower has grown between the grooves of a paving slab. There is something mesmerising about it – almost pure. Life around this paved paradise is human made; rigid, functional, kinda boring. This Rose is a welcome note from nature – and I imagine it has come to rise, expecting a hundred-thousand other Red Roses to embrace it with open stems; only to discover armies of shitty stone slabs, gas guzzlers, and commercial trolleys. 

Maybe this is a reincarnated human life coming back in an odd form of hell? Or pure bad luck on the flower? Or just a result of random chances coming together. But the answer is irrelevant. For this is a Friday afternoon, and come Monday a set of feet, a car, or a random mind too stupid to appreciate this wonder, will crush it, and ultimately destroy the short life of a solitary flower. An internal instinct begins to understand how everybody else is not like me; for I could not do anything else, but let it grow as I feel it is meant to.

I don’t cry, but I do feel sadness. I know it cannot survive for long. But it doesn’t matter. Because in that solitary moment in my eyes, it is fucking beautiful. I check back on Monday to see it again… it has gone. The twenty-one year old is upset, and wonders why - as humans, we can often act so cruel to a nature kindly given to us for free.  But as I write this blog a decade later – and ten years older, I now realise the Red Rose lives in my mind. And when I find myself thinking in random quiet moments, the Red Rose arrives as a memory to let me know how beauty can be found in the strangest places, and in all walks of life. And for that reason, I guess it was never really crushed at all.


1 comment:

  1. I worked and lived with teenage boys who had suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents. One morning as I was driving one of my boys to his treatment program I noticed a tiny fir tree growing impossibly between the 2 adjoining meridians on the freeway. I wondered how it got there so on my way back I pulled over and saw a giant fir tree off in the distance behind the huge cement wall. I couldn't believe that tiny fir tree had grown there but I knew, just as with many of my boys, it may not survive and there wasn't anything I could do to help it. The giant for tree had grown in a place where it could not provide the nutrients the tiny tree needed either. I took pictures of my little tree and next spring it was gone. Thank you for being a person who saw and valued the rose. So many didn't.