It isn’t a lovely plant. I’ve seen pictures of full-bodied bushes grown in South Africa. (Check out this gorgeous picture from organic farms that grow and distill the plant for Aveda.)
Now check out my darling girl.
It doesn’t flower. I’ve read that the plant blooms delicate white flowers with deep purple hearts. Not once in three years have I spied a blossom.
So, not so gorgeous, my long-limbed rose geranium. But have you ever smelled its leaves? Their scent is described as “lemony-rose,” and I think that’s a beautiful name for many of things: my daughter’s baby doll, a martini, or a poem about loving the wrong kind of boy. The smell, as an essential oil, is often used as an antidepressant. When I pull the shades open each morning, the rough fabric brushes the plant’s mint-green leaves and wafts their sweet scent over the kitchen table. It’s a calming smell, an after-bath-lotioning smell, an enfolded-in-Grandma-Lillian’s-arms smell.
How easy would it be to draw parallels between myself and the plant: spindly, not so bloom-full. Taking up a good amount of space for no determined purpose (but, you know, smells kind of pretty). But that sort of comparison isn't kind to me or to the plant, so instead I look for maybe its witching-worth. What do the wise women say are the magickal properties of the rose geranium? I think that finding layers of meaning in common things like plants and colors gives existence just a little more significance, a little more glamour.
I read tonight that some claim the rose geranium offers courage and protection.Now there's a lovely thought to meditate on. All that winding wood, all those curled, grooved leaves are casting a lemony-rose spell of protection over my home and my family. Jason and Clarabella Snow can sleep still, wrapped in a sweet-scented shield. I can face ogres of depression and wizards of cynicism with deeply rooted courage.
It's romantic, I know, but I love the idea that a plant--especially a weird looking, flowerless one--can strengthen our hearts and guard our lives. I hope I look for the might and valor growing steadily in all my dusty corners.