Kindness and Roses

Rosa, Canadian Campfire Rose, Watercolor 11×14


Kindness always has an effect, even if you never see it, or it takes awhile to manifest.

In October of last year I asked on Facebook if anyone had flowers left in their yards that I could pillage. It was getting on toward winter, but I had things I wanted to do. I got a generous offer from someone I didn’t know well to wander through his back yard for flowers, despite the fact that he wasn’t currently home.

I arrived at his house past dark, armed with clippers and a flashlight, and–since he was my district senator at the time– visions of the morning headlines boasting the arrest of a crazed artist burgling the home of a local legislator. I stomped about in his darkened back yard, peering at bushes and trying not to step on anything that shouldn’t be stepped on. After only one episode of huddling in a corner and hiding myself from the neighbors, I absconded with my loot and headed home with a pile of greenery.

I spent the rest of the night up late, frantically doing sketches, taking photographs, and trying to mix accurate color samples. Since then, these plants have been the subject of many various studies, color experiments, and learning experiences (also known as failed paintings). However, learning, like kindness, always adds up.

So I present these roses, liberated in the dark of night from a bush near the driveway, along with the reminder that kindness is never wasted. Be kind whenever you can.

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