In a Real Rose Garden, The Roses Dream

(c) Nin Harris 2009–

Somewhere on the grounds of Domus Exsulis, there is a real thicket of thorns and roses. The wild roses remember a tale; a long time ago, a winged One carried his bride to this isle on the back of Zephyr. The roses remember how a bright-browed One was transfigured by the dreaming of storytellers and poets into a green serpent, and later, a beast with the head of a lion and the paws of a bear. She had not pulled a rose, a rose but barely one. When up appeared her bridegroom, who may be elfin, or draconic, or with a pensive snout on his furry face, looking rather confused as he utters the lines that will determine their destiny.

There is, rather archetypally, a werewolf in this garden. He is a man-sized wolf who seems not to care that you are watching him putter around with his gardening shears, or his rake with wicked tines, humming all the while a chanson that has not been heard outside of this isle for several centuries. His snout is grass-stained, his claws adept, but not as adept as the gardening shears that he handles with an almost religious concentration. If you had called him an archetype, perhaps he will laugh, a guttural, wolfish kind of laugh, you understand.

He does not mind his fellow gardener, a highly strung woman with dark ringlets and a voice that rises and falls in the rhythmic cadences of both Italian and English. Perhaps we shall leave them here, where the roses still dream of the God of Love and his bride. For all Roses dream of that first gardener, who let them grow wild in Zephyr’s breeze.

This may also be true in a warmer clime, where rugosa roses will fight with wanton hibiscuses in a balmy breeze. Perhaps here, our Beauty may be clad in a delicate batik sarong, treading softly along the dewy grass and herbs while another gardener, pensive in his tiger stripes, waits to pounce on any who would dare to pull, a rugosa, a melur, but barely one.


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