June 3

A bicycle
Joost Markerink/Flickr

June is for roses and road work. As I biked out of town this bright morning, every garden wall, house façade, and back gate was covered with blooms. The colors were exhilarating, and I pedaled faster and faster. Even within the hedgerows, I spotted wild roses. The wind at my back was warm and redolent with thick petals. By the time I reached the village of Barton, everything was still coming up roses.

The road work put things on hold. The winter potholes were being filled, and the road was a single lane. My momentum cut off, I put a foot on the curb and looked around. More roses—queues of them waiting to be let into front doors, open windows, potting sheds, and mailboxes.

Later on, I raced to avoid stopping at another temporary light. I wanted to admire the roses as a blur of color, and I needed speed. The bright reds, deep oranges, and pale yellows and pinks held their own against the rest of the shrubbery. Even from the side of my eye, they were the center. It was everything else that disturbed the color scheme—orange petals don’t clash with a green fence; the well-established fence clashes with the budding rose. I considered how my maroon bike jersey would not fare well against a light pink rose trellis. Thankfully, there were no other construction roadblocks to make me stop and look too closely. Jostling over bumps and grooves in the road, though, I wondered if my priorities were right.

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Charlotte Salley is a former assistant editor of the Scholar.


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