I see the pale pink silk rose, adorning my car for my niece’s wedding a few months ago. The pandemic limited the guest list to less than 50 people, but the wedding was no less beautiful than if it had been 350. Possibly lovelier, allowing time for the couple to meet with every guest.
The rose sits on my dresser, reminding me not only of my niece’s and new nephew’s matrimony, but inevitably my own, over 45 years ago. I imagine the perfume as if the rose were live.
What if that rose had the power to reverse time, to take me back to my wedding day? While preserving the wisdom of my life experience?
The rose is tantalizing. Do I choose to breathe in the fragrance to reverse time, to be young, agile, without pain, and looking at a lifetime of possibilities? Is youth with the harsh growing pains ahead more tempting than the memories of a life well-lived?
I put my toe in the water and imagine that I have returned to that day. Knowing what I know now, would I choose differently? Would I put off marriage? Or choose a different spouse? Or none at all?
If there is any question about the acts of 45 years ago, danger threatens if I consider an alternative route. Life without that man at that time would alter the course of history for not only myself, but many others. Life would have been different. Would it have been better? It could have been much worse.
I choose this path.
I pretend that I have the choice: to relive life or revel in where I am.
I will pass the rose on to someone who harbors regrets. My life looks very good, thank you.