the significance of the rose
“But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.”– Anne Brontë
I always wondered why it was the rose that was the flower symbol of love. There has to be hundreds of different flowers in the world, and yet, the world chose the rose. The rose is not a particularly interesting flower, yet nor is it a simple, boring type either. Its intrigue is somewhere in the in-between It typically has soft velvety red petals and a green stem adorn with thorns. It is a beautiful flower that should almost always be handled with care. I suppose love should be handled with care as well.
Of course, we have the traditional Greek myth of the rose. According to the ancient writers, Flora, the goddess of spring and flowers, stumbles across a nymph who had died. So struck and sadden by the sight, Flora calls upon the gods to help change the nymph into a beautiful flower, the most beautiful flower of them all. And so, Apollo sends down warm blessings of life, Aphrodite adds beauty, and Dionysus gives nectar and fragrance. Flora then adds dew drops and crowns the new flower the queen of all flowers. Aphrodite is then asked to name this loveliest flower of them all. She gives it the anagram name of rose, in honor of her son Eros, the god of love.
Yet, we could come up with dozens of meanings of love that are symbolically encompassed in what a rose is. Love is red; it’s passion and lust. It’s fiery and hot. Yet, it can sometimes be gentle and frail like the velvet petals of a rose. Love can also be hard and stubborn like a thorn, which can often hurt depending how deep the prick. And yet, it can also symbolize what Anne Brontë once said. If one isn’t ready and willing to experience all of the different meanings of love, then maybe he or she shouldn’t desire love. I suppose if you aren’t ready for the rose, with it’s soft petals and its thorns, then maybe you aren’t yet worthy of it.