My friend Barbara’s husband Charlie passed away after nearly seventy years of marriage. The week of his death, she placed a small rosebud in a vase on her windowsill. Weeks passed, then months, and the rose continued to live. Its leaves remained supple and pink; it did not wilt. She showed it to me, incredulous and teary-eyed. She saw it as symbolic of her husband’s continued presence in her life.
I didn’t think much of it at the time. But, lately, I’ve found myself considering Charlie’s rose again. What if time is like a fragrance whose scent (rate of decay) we perceive only if we are not one with it?