We expect passionate love to last forever – how could it ever die if it is so beautiful and bright? But just as we compare this love to a rose in its bloom, so too should we recognise that a passionate love shares the same fate as a rose. It is a better symbol than we realise!

The key is to recognise that a rose is just a part of a plant. We cut it off and present it to our loved ones, seeing it as an object of ultimate value on its own. But cut from the plant it comes from, it simply dies. On a plant, the rose will wilt but, if given all that it requires, the plant will live on to produce more flowers. Our passionate love is like a rose. It blooms brightly, and then wilts. This is inevitable. But that passionate love is not the ultimate goal! It is just a part of real love. Real love, which lasts, is like the rose bush. In itself, the plant does not seem grand. And it will go through long stages with no flowers. But, with enough attention and effort, it will live on and produce roses for those that tend to it again, and again, and again. (Olya Axelrod)


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