Way back in the fifteenth century, the white rose symbolized the House of York and the red rose symbolized the House of Lancaster. The civil war between these two Houses in England was termed the War of the Roses. Today I live in York County, Pennsylvania. The next county over lies on the east side of the Susquehanna River. It is Lancaster County. Lancaster County is well known for it's Amish farmlands, rich Pennsylvania Dutch foods, and even its trains. But few people realize that these two counties in Pennsylvania still carry the symbol of the roses inherited from their namesakes long ago and far away. Yes, York County is still symbolized by the white rose, Lancaster by the red, but to those who love this beautiful flower, it matters not what the color for all are beautiful and worthy of recognition.
My grandmother's name was Rose. Oh, how proud she was of that name. I remember fondly how she identified herself with the exquisite flower whose name she bore. The image of the rose conjures up a warm and beautiful feeling from deep within. Most will imagine the luxurious fragrance or the soft, velvety petals. The rose is a flower that tends to engage those who are in its presence. Not only will its beauty draw you in but its scent is intoxicating. There is a saying: Stop and smell the roses. There are songs and poetry written of this flower, from A rose is a rose is a rose to Roses are red, violets are blue and every sentiment in between but one thought that will always ring true is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Won't you join me in celebrating the most treasured flower in the world this Friday at MMP?