memories · Review · Self development

My Grandfather’s Roses and the art of Zen.

If you know me well enough, you will know that the Afghan in me is OBSESSED with roses and rose scented things. In my birth country of Pakistan, Roses arent just a valentines day thing. Roses play a huge part in our weddings, naming ceremonies, funerals and any other milestone you can imagine. Roses are part of rituals for us.
My connection to this heavenly little flower goes a little deeper. My grandfather, God rest his soul, was an avid gardener and roses were his speciality. He bred them, grew them and tended to them in a way I had seen him tend to the children in our family. My grandmother used his rose petals to make everything from perfumes, to coldcream and even jam!
Their passion for these beautiful flowers led my parents to name my youngest sister Gulandam, an old persian name that literally means someone who is as beautiful as a rose!

My Grandfather Khan Abdur Rahman Khan and Grandmother Razia Sultana Begum in the early 50s.

My last memory of my grandfather was the day I left Pakistan to move to Australia. He spent the afternoon with his grandchildren in his garden plucking  roses and letting us make  potpourri out of the petals. I was not yet 16 and terrified of what the future in Australia held for me. He must have sensed my nerves because he turned to me with a stalk with two identical roses budding from the same point and imparted his final words of advice to me

” You and your dreams are conjoined like these two roses. You cannot destroy one without affecting the other. Dont ever let anyone tell you how to live your life and achieve your dreams”

The day I left for Australia I left my grandfather reading his newspaper in his rose garden. He passed away a year later but I feel as if I left him there for all perpetuity and that he might still be there when i finally make it home.

As I draw to the end of my 20s, the fear of growing old without achieving these dreams jolts me awake every morning. The burden of a third culture kid is the constant reminder that you exchanged precious years with your grandparents and family for a shot at making a life for yourself. I still am a long way off from making my dreams a reality but I wake up daily resolute in my intent to create opportunities and a beautiful life for myself.

As a rule, I like spending  15 minutes in the morning setting my daily goals seated at my dresser mirror. This has been a ritual of mine for quite some time. And now I have one more beautiful thing to add to my morning ritual.
Using Zen Botanics Rosehip and Jojoba cleansing cream the last two mornings has taken me on a gentle stroll along memory lane. The smell of this light buttery cream, is so similar to the roses in my grandfather’s garden, it is almost like being home again. I mentioned earlier that Roses have forever been part of Afghan and Pakistani rituals. I feel that this little jar of magic has allowed me a doorway back to a very special moment with my grandfather and that memory alone helps keep all my self doubt and anxiety at bay. 

You can purchase Zen Botanics products online here or if you are in W.A and are as impatient as I am, you can visit Highbrow  Society in Victoria Park/ Freo to get your very own.


Nb: The author would like you to know they were NOT paid to endorse this product and all comments recommending said product were made because she is in love with the product itself. 

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