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Dianne Davy: When a rose is more than a rose

On my deck today I walked to the two black nursery buckets. I looked down, and there they were tiny little sprouts breaking through the soil. Tears and excitement overtook me as I grabbed my camera to photograph the miracle.

Memories of the 8th of November still fill me with fear, sadness and grief on some days. That Paradise Fire, and all who lost so much. In a desperate attempt to find my beloved cat, we drove to the shelters surrounding Paradise. My daughter suggested we go to our home and perhaps he would be sitting there. We did go, and his remains were there.

As evening was falling, I saw my beloved rose garden — turned to charred sticks in the black soil. They had been there for me and I for them, and now we were both suffering.



As I sat sobbing in the car at what I saw, my daughter said, “Mom, we can save the roses?”

No, we cannot!” I yelled.



She, with bare hands, dug down and pulled two — one yellow one pink from each bed, and put them in the car and we drove off.

Well, I live amongst the trees again, gladly, and I watched the blackened stumps all winter, praying they would come back, more for my daughter Susan than for me.

Every gardener knows that first sprout that appears in our garden — it is almost like in spite of what we do, plants manage to survive …

So I followed my old cat, that did survive, out on the deck this morning. I looked down into the black buckets and I saw them, six of them — three in each bucket. Little green sprouts saying, “Hey, we are here — we are here!” I grabbed my camera and took pictures and sent them to daughter and best friend, who was also on the trip to ruins. I wrote under photos, “Making your way in the world today takes everything we’ve got.”

I had to stop sobbing to write this letter. It surely is a message to me — to never think something can or cannot happen. Wait and see, pray and hope. As they grow and strengthen so, too, will I.

For all the people in Grass Valley who helped so many of us recover in stores with hugs and in so many ways, you helped me to recover and laugh again. I wonder now what else is in store that will be so thrilling?

You never know, you never know.

Diane S. Davy now lives in Penn Valley.


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