Extremely delicate or refined. Almost as light as air. Celestial or spiritual. These definitions of "ethereal" all fit the last rose that shines defiant against the coming Winter in my garden. Cheerful in spite of frost, embracing the sunlight from dawn to dusk, 'Betty Boop' carries alone the promise of delicate and refined beauty into the cold nights of November. She may now be clothed in soiled foliage. and her days in warm sun may be numbered, but she blooms still, an angel of charm and elegance in the dying landscape.
I was struck yesterday, on a glorious, warm and bright Saturday afternoon, by the tableau of these bright yellow and red flowers against the now drab buffalograss nearby and the blanched prairie grasses of the distant background. The individual blooms are stained here and there by the frozen dews, but the chilling nights of the past two weeks have made a porcelain study of the petals and deepened the contrast of yellow center and blushing edges. While other roses in my garden have balled and browned, 'Betty Boop' still engages the gardener's soul with a passing glimpse, beckoning to close, to come hither and be smitten.
There are lessons upon lessons here, in this rose, for one and for many. The values of buoyancy and perkiness while the nearby world stands gloomy and grave. The strength of fragility and softness in the defiance of certain destruction by the coming storms. The lure of coy subtlety and refinement over blatant sexuality and wanton display. The stolen embrace of sunshine and warmth during a fortuitous moment, returned back tenfold to the world in a smile.
Twas 'Betty Boop' who held my heart yesterday, calmed in her graceful hands.