I guess I can thank Zarka, Shay, Lorcan, and Edward each for their articles and challenges regarding our symbols and rose meanings. After reading the most recent journal entry from Edward, I decided it was about time I figured out the meaning of my rose. I became a swordsman at the end of 2017 and had my fight of the tabard last year, but I’ve never been able to pin down what I wanted my rose to represent until now. (So thank you to those who share their thoughts, by whatever means, as it gets the rest of us thinking.)
Last night after I finished reading Edward’s entry I simply sat back in my bed and wondered what I wanted to pick for my rose. Yes, rose meanings can be made up of full phrases or lists of ideas, but I wanted to simplify mine. I needed a single word that could sum up my goal of who I want to be. As I thought, I looked down at my bedside to see my new baby in her bassinet, and instantly I knew the meaning of my rose: nurturing.
I looked up the definition of nurture, and it specifically means “care for and encourage the growth or development of”. This fits perfectly into my mindset of Terrasylvae and how I’ve found value in the group and my own life.
To start, I remember when I first came to fencing a few years back, I felt nervous about getting along with all of Kane’s “quirky” friends. Honestly, I wondered who these strange people were to find enjoyment in spending every. single. Friday. at the park stabbing each other with swords… But with time, I noticed one of the aspects I admired most of the group was the acceptance of every person that came to play. I found myself especially drawn to a few women who nurtured me and helped my experience to be a pleasant one as I grew accustomed to the group. (Thank you, Gwen, Rhiannon, and Shay). Nurturing, essentially, brought me here.
With time, I found that I really enjoyed seeing what Rhiannon was doing with her event planning. She was putting together some amazing dances and formal affairs, and I wanted to be involved myself. I also hoped I could become a nurturer like her as I saw the way she treated new members and provided a safe place for everyone to gather at events. I began looking for ways to do the same and started involving myself more deeply in the group. I reached out to leaders to offer my assistance with events, I agreed to teach lessons at fencing practices to help and get to know newer members, and I started the Company of Broderers to provide a guild for people with similar interests. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was beginning to live what my rose now stands for by “caring for and encouraging the growth or development” of the group.
I can say that I’m striving to live up to my rose as I serve the best I can in Terrasylvae. However, I’m also seeing how my life outside of the group has centered on nurturing as well. Spending 4 years as a school teacher is certainly one thing, but now as I start an adventure of being a mom, I get to learn to nurture constantly in my own home, beginning with teaching the simplest of lessons to a newborn.
So now as I look forward to a new season, I’m excited to have defined my purpose and goal in the group. Yes, my rose has turned out to be named for something I’ve already been working on, but by assigning the official meaning to my rose and making it concrete, it has re-motivated me in a time when I needed it. Whether a swordsman or not, I can see why it is so important for everyone to contemplate their “why” for coming each week. Why do you want to be a swordsman? And how can you define yourself to be better through your experience in Terrasylvae? What do you have to contribute?