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  • We have one rose left in our garden. The rest are buried in brown leaves or have already gone to sleep before we've welcomed Winter's white blanket. Every time I pass the garden I marvel at this late bloomer and how alive it looks so late in the season. And then I wonder, Why is this rose the only one still standing? Is it uniquely suited to colder nights, or has it simply been the only one that has paid attention to reality? It has been an unusually warm Fall, after all. Could the others still be blooming if they just stayed awake? Instead they were on autopilot and kept to their regular schedule and so have missed at least a full extra month of Autumn's slanted light.

    Every morning when I pass the rose I ask myself if I am staying awake to reality, if I am paying active attention to the people and stories around me. Then maybe I won't fall asleep in my routine and miss out on the play's bonus sixth act.
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