by Steve & Barry Simpson
The wild yellow roses of spring have blossomed on the Gaines’ property just across the dusty gravel parking lot of Twin Rocks Trading Post.
I see those leafy green, thorn encrusted bushes graced with softly beautiful, sunlit blossoms as a metaphor for my own personal contradictions.
Many years ago, when I first caught sight of my future wife, I was certainly, intrigued. She was and is to this very day long, lean and lovely, and has the most captivating blue/ green eyes I have ever seen.
As I mentioned, however, I was young and not yet ready to marry, especially not to a local girl. I was nonetheless intrigued. Yes, at least that.
We dated a bit and flirted, but things were not yet serious. So when an event in need of a gift of gay and delicate flora came about, I would gift her yellow roses.
Somewhere, somehow I had discovered yellow roses were considered a gift of friendship, and it was my desire to convey that message in a clear distinct manner.
There were other gifts of sky stone and silver and a ceremonial basket to her mother and father, all of which seemed perfectly innocent to me.
My life as a bachelor was guarded and protected at all costs. What I was not aware of was that my stars were in for realignment.
To make a short story long, Laurie and I dated, off and on, for seven years. Time rolled on and somewhere in that timeline, the fun and games took on a more serious note.
It was a rough and tumble, noncommittal relationship that ping-ponged back and forth so often we were both dizzy and worn out by the effort. One morning I finally woke-up to the realization that I just did not want to live my life without this wondrous small town girl.
With a great deal of trepidation, I went to Father Washburn and asked for Laurie’s hand in marriage. I was, indeed, nervous about the encounter because of our cultural dissimilarities and the fact that I am, “One of those damn Simpsons.”
My misgivings were all for not, all Laurie’s father had to say was, “It’s about time!” We adopted Jefferson Starship’s “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now” as our theme song, ignored the naysayers and set a wedding date.
Twenty-six years and three amazing children later, Laurie has stuck with me. Although I am now known to be contrary, stubborn and someone who is far too willing to sacrifice my personal life and love for the sake of a missive, she has stuck with me. I often ask myself why and how, but more often than not simply thank my lucky stars she has.
I am fortunate enough to work in a business where artists are inspired by nature. The natural world is beautifully expressed through rugs, baskets, jewelry, pottery and much more.
Even in the depths of winter, a gritty, red sandstorm of spring or a blistering hot summer day, we are surrounded by warm, rich sunlight; fresh, green growing things; singing birds; summer storms; dancing wildlife; and rainbows.
If there is an expression of nature that can be revealed through art it is done so here. The Native American and various other artists we represent have opened our eyes and hearts to everything from the rising sun, to moon sets and every natural wonder in between.
Each spring when the yellow roses bust loose I am reminded of my new interpretation of their symbolism. Those golden flower blossoms stand for how my philosophy has evolved through time.
Because of hard-won personal experience, Laurie and I have developed a strong and enduring relationship. Given enough time, simple friendship can turn into something deeper. Life can and does sneak-up on us and snaps us onto a new reality.
Much like that age-old farm implement planted next to the rose bushes in the Gaines’ boundaries, I have seen better days. Although some may argue that I am as outdated, forlorn and useless as that implement, Laurie makes me feel I am not. Because Laurie chose to overlook the meaning behind my yellow roses, our friendship developed into much more. Because of her, I feel alive, vital and viable.