The Comforting Scent of Roses–Sanaa’s Prompt Nights

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

The Comforting Scent of Roses

Before the record heat slips in, I go into the garden to tend to a few chores—dead-heading the spent irises, thanking them for the beauty the shared with us this spring after five years of drought. The climbing rose was next, but on the way, I stopped to check in on our resident sparrow family, newly hatched in the bird house we hung in the ash tree. There on the ground, he lay, a tiny bird—featherless, struggling to upright himself. Mama hovered overhead. With my gloved hand, I lifted him and placed him back inside his nesting place, hoping that he would be accepted.

A few hours later, I saw his little head peeking out the hole between tree branches that had not survived the lack of rain. Sunshine backlit the beauty of the scene. I turned my back to fetch those pruning shears for the roses still awaiting my attention. When I turned around, a flash of blue appeared and quickly snatched the baby from its abode. I watched as he devoured the helpless creature.

nature seems cruel
downcast, I turn to my chores
embraced by fragrance

Sorry to say, this is a true story, just happened and thoroughly bummed me out. I understand an appreciate the concept of the circle of life, and yet to see it happen so clearly is disarming.

I wrote this for Sanaa’s Prompt Nights where the theme this week is take time to smell the roses. I recently heard that this saying was originally spoken by PGA golfer Walter Hagen in the 1950’s. As someone who pretends to golf, I think he must of been speaking to the little importance of a game of golf compared to the many more important things in life. 


24 thoughts on “The Comforting Scent of Roses–Sanaa’s Prompt Nights

  1. Yes, I know it is the circle of life, but so disarming when it happens in front of you. Beautiful writing


  2. ghostmmnc says:

    So sad…I know it happens, and I’ve seen the cats around here catch and kill a bird at my feeder, but I hate it, and cry for the bird. But we carry on as we must. Truth is in your simple poem.


  3. elleceef says:

    A beautiful, poignant, portrait of life in all its sad mysteries.


  4. a flash of blue appeared and
    quickly snatched the baby
    nature seems cruel
    downcast, I turn to my chores

    Sadly that is the survival instinct played out everyday. One accepts it so just to continue one’s own thing! Wonderful narrative Victoria!



  5. gillena says:

    Credibility, the essence of classic haibun, and so beautifully told. Thanks for dropping in at my blog

    much love…


  6. I felt the bite, the crunch of the violence… but I can still see and smell the roses. It’s difficult at times, to see the beauty of Nature through the bloodiness of her cruelty. But we must.

    This was such a touching haibun, Victoria. You did an excellent job at keeping me with you, and at letting me share and see all the emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    I wonder what the flash of blue was – a lizard, a bigger bird? A shock in any case, especially after your careful rescue. One would have to say that little one’s time was up. But the scent of the roses will last long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victoria says:

      It was the vivid blue of the blue jay. They are incredible and always, for me, a surprise. Nature gave them color to make up for their horrible noise, I suppose.


  8. Jae Rose says:

    Nature does have a will of its own and yet for every downside of the cycle there is hopefully another side – the comforting scent of the rose (interesting to find out were this saying originated from too) – poor little bird


  9. All the more poignant that you had already rescued the baby once. You will have felt a special affinity for him.


  10. Sumana Roy says:

    Sigh…life is like this with a mind of its own…there’s that blue flash as well as the fragrance of the roses…you’ve put it beautifully with wisdom….


  11. georginamorley says:

    It is very difficult to witness the truth of nature, especially a a moment when we are feeling so pleased with life in general. Nature does have a very abrupt way of reminding us that “what will be will be” and gave you roses as a solace XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a wonderful sad story of a true event, how afterwards I imagine the scent of roses being a reminder of that event.. We do understand it on an intellectual level, but still it hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. oldegg says:

    Sad as that scene was for you the real sadness is in our inability as humans to live our lives peacefully together. All we can do as you imply is turn away and get on with our own lives as best we can.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Michael says:

    Sad but a part of nature that happens around us all the time. I hope your roses thrive this summer. They are hardy plants aren’t they. Enjoy your weekend Victoria…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That is sad. It’s so shocking to see. I hope the flowers soothed your spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Oh! It must have been devastating to witness that poor creatures plight! Nature can be both kind and cruel as you have so wisely depicted in your verse. Beautifully penned. Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights Victoria 🙂 and for your constant love and support ❤❤

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

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