Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors
First let me tell you the name of this colorful rose, it is so appropriate: JOSEPH’S COAT. All little Sunday-school goers know the drama of the coat-of-many-colors. Jacob favored his son, Joseph, by his favorite wife, Rachel, and set him up to be hated by his 10 male siblings (Baby Benjamin was still in his cradle, or maybe junior high.) By giving Joe that coat-of-many-colors he changed the course of history.
You can read it in The Book, it will entertain you for sure. That story has everything, a murder plot, a kidnapping, grief, mystery, world–renowned heads of state, a seductive lady, false imprisonment, dreams interpreted, dreams come true, a great trick and treat, and the best family reunion ever.
One of my favorite musicals is “Joseph and His Magic Technicolor Dream Coat!” But I digress, that is another story. This is about the rose.
One brilliantly sunny day I was working in my sizeable flower garden when I happened to looked down the hill past the acre of grapevines that landscaped the front of our old farm house and saw a scene that still lives in my memory tonight.
We lived in an old suburban area that had once been orange groves. A hard freeze in the 1930’s had changed that scene permanently. On our 15 acres we had about ten trees. Survivors. There was an old fence that ran across the front of the property, rough wooden fence poles with strung wire. To encourage the general public to not hop that fence to harvest our oranges, we decided to plant climbing roses. Not hoppable, thorns you know.
Because my Joe and I loved the Coat story we planted a dozen and watched them mature into a blazing mix of red and yellow, and all the colors in-between. The scene I want to share was in July, prime time for Joseph’s Coat.
A motorcyclist, decked out in all his Harley gear that said “I am one tough guy”, had pulled over to the roses. This shaggy, bandanna-ed guy was picking a bouquet. Shaking his hand wildly when he got thorned, sucking on his fingers to still the pain, but gathering himself some blooms. I watched him.
Then he fired up his big, noisy bike and roared off. One hand holding his beautiful bouquet. I waved to his back. I wonder where he was taking the flowers, or were they just for him…a lover of beauty.