From rosebud to rose hip: aging gracefully

“Perimenopausal women can be likened to the full-blown rose of the summer and fall, as it begins to transform itself into a bright, juicy rose hip—the part of the rose that contains the seeds from which hundreds of other potential roses can grow.” —Christiane Northrup from The Wisdom of Menopause

Photo by Raye Smith

Photo by Raye Smith

Today is my birthday, and the number attached to this birthday fits with the quote above. The rosebud stage of my life is long past; I am the full-blown rose of late summer.

Because our culture in the west tends to worship the “rosebud” stage of development—the lithe and agile, and the wrinkle-free—some people don’t like to celebrate birthdays at this stage of life. Out of fear, they deny the passing of the years.

Not I.

I shout to the mountain tops. I jump up and down. I smile and celebrate with joy the many gifts that my fifty-plus years have presented to me. I look to the future with curiosity. What other fun things are going to happen to me?

“. . .  any attempt to remain in the rosebud stage tends to look desperate and ridiculous. It’s like trying to reglue the autumn leaves back onto the tree and them paint them green to simulate the spring. It simply doesn’t work. Instead, our task is to come to appreciate the beauty and power of the season we are in, instead of longing for what can no longer be.” —Christiane Northrup from The Wisdom of Menopause

When we worship only the beauty of youth, we miss the beauty found in later years. As Christiane Northrup points out, attempts to “reglue the autumn leaves back onto the tree” doesn’t work, and usually looks sad and ridiculous.

It is our task—my task—to own the beauty of the full-blown late summer rose and to nurture seeds of potential for others.


5 thoughts on “From rosebud to rose hip: aging gracefully

  1. Phyllis Bohonis

    Happy birthday, Arlene. Enjoy your late summer years. I’m in the full blown autumn of my years and am enjoying every minute of it. From where I stand (or sit) autumn is the most colourful of all the seasons and it’s proving to be the most colourful season of my life. To not approach it with zest is to want to live in the past, never moving forward. How boring is that? I’m enjoying the harvest of the spring and summer seasons and getting the most out of every sunny, warm, colourful day. I love your enthusiasm for life and I’m especially happy you’re enjoying your birthday in the country associated with roses.

  2. Sharyn

    Have a wonderful birthday celebration, Arlene.

    What a delightful thought your blog gave for someone who is also well-entered the rose hip stage of life. As you probably know, it’s the rose hip that can be made into jam to sweeten the lives of others. Not a bad thing to consider.

  3. Pingback: From rosebud to rose hip: aging gracefully | Somerton Smith | Aging Gracefully Services

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