Stories of Kindness from Around the World

When A Rose Is A Rose Is- More Than A Rose.

--by singlestep, posted Nov 8, 2006
A woman on a pavement with an armful of roses-to-sell and a tired expression in her eyes. She is surrounded by people who are very not buying roses tonight. We walk past her, and then walk back. I love flowers, but roses are far from being my favorite flowers. They are too-written about. Too poeticized. Too perfect.

But this was not about the roses.

We buy ten buds, some tightly wrapped up in themselves, others just starting to open. Give her one, he says, just loud enough so I can hear and she can't. I pull one-long stemmed beauty out of the bunch and give it to her for the pricelessness of a sudden smile.

We walk on newly-burdened, one down, nine roses to go. Do we hand them out to random strangers? Or wait to stumble across someone sad-faced and in-need-of-exactly-ten-minus-one roses? No- we decide instead to let the rest of the evening decide for us.

Walking along a brightly-lit street, lined with shop windows full of very nice and very unneccessary things, we turn impulsively onto a sidestreet. No more shop windows,only mostly darkened office buildings, except for one lighted door through which we see an older woman with a duster in her hand and no idea that she is being watched as she works. She is cleaning up after a long day. Tomorrow people will walk through that door, perhaps they will notice the spotlessness, perhaps not.

The evening has made its decision. I cross the street and knock on the locked door. She opens it with a puzzled expression that deepens when I tell her that I just wanted to give her these flowers.' For you,' I say, 'because we were walking by and saw you working so hard and thought you might like to take these home with you.' Her face eases into a smile, she is looking at the roses in a way that makes them seem more beautiful than I'd thought them a mere minute ago. 'Thank You,' she says in her lilting, accented English.

And then we walk on. Unsure that she will be able to understand the little card hidden among the buds, but knowing without doubt that the spirit behind it was not lost in translation.
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Readers Comments

Rajni wrote: Thanks for teaching us a lesson that the love - expression behind giving gift is very important than the gift itself.
Ermias wrote: I realy love it.
sewingsphynx wrote: Flowers have a language all their own understood by most everyone. To perform a gesture of kindness for what seems to be no real reason is novel now-a-days. It's also down right refreshing to the recipient.
Ginny wrote: That is a really sweet story. I think I am goint try doing this holiday season but only with little twist becues Roses are not the chepesst thing in Northen Cali. I am going to some less expensve flowers that are in season and hand them out.
jz wrote: Great story!
Doris wrote: good story.
once visitng a friend in the hospital she gave me her flowers (due to allergies) when leaving the hospital I left flowers in other rooms on the bedside tables,,the smiles in return made my day
fifi wrote: that sounds like a lovely evening for all of those involved :)

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