Rose Song

from Yoko

Leaving a marriage after twenty-five years is not easy, especially when children are involved. I had thought long and hard, and prayed deeply about it. Still, when I finally moved out I was sad and scared.

I had rented an apartment for my daughter and me in the Ananda community. As a welcoming gift, someone had put pictures of Master and Swamiji on the kitchen counter, each one encircled with red rose petals.

On our spiritual path, roses are sacred. On special occasions, we shower people with rose petals to represent the blessings of God and the Gurus. The words to a much-loved chant used on holy occasions are Roses to the left, roses to the right, roses front and behind—meaning “Guru’s blessings everywhere.”

Looking at the pictures, I was overcome by conflicting emotions: gratitude, fear, doubt, grief, confusion, hope, and loneliness. Above all, I felt oddly numb, especially in my head and heart. The next day a friend came over with a housewarming gift: a dozen red roses. They were beautiful and warmed my heart, and my scantly furnished apartment.

A week later my daughter and two of her friends had a coming-of age ceremony. Dressed in long gowns, they danced and sang. They were anointed with holy water, and showered with red rose petals brought by my daughter’s godmother.

The following week a patient at the clinic where I work gave me a thank you gift. This has never happened before or since. It was a dozen red roses.

“Oh, Divine Mother,” I thought, “You are reassuring me in so many ways. Still, I am uncertain if I am doing the right thing in leaving my marriage to live my truth with You. May I ask for just one more sign?”

She gave me two.

A few days later I went to a favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. The usual vases of mixed flowers had been changed. At every table now were red roses!

Christmas came, and a friend invited me to her home. Her father is from India, but he lives and teaches in Japan, which is my home country. We gathered around the piano while he played, and we sang songs together in Japanese. What joy to share the holy season with good friends, singing together in my native language, and to feel God’s presence in my heart!

In the middle of a song, Baraga Saita, I was awestruck to realize that Divine Mother was reassuring me once again. In English, the title would be A Rose Has Blossomed.

A rose has blossomed.
A rose has blossomed.
It is a bright red rose.
A rose has blossomed in my barren yard.
Just one rose that blossomed is a small rose.
It brightened up my barren yard.
Rose, rose, little rose,
Do stay blooming forever there.

The rose has died.
The rose has died.
It was a bright red rose.
My yard is again as barren as before.
Though the rose in my yard is gone,
A rose has blossomed in my lonesome heart.
Rose, rose, in my heart,
Do stay blooming forever there.
A rose has blossomed.
A rose has blossomed.
It is in my heart.
It is the bright red rose that will never die