RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Helen Keller

A Rose By Any Other Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” a quote from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.  It is a way of saying that the names we put to things do not carry as much importance as what is being spoken of.   The Rose I have photographed name is just that… a name.   It is what a rose is… the silk of the petals, the lure of colors some that bleed and blend and draw you in, and for some the delicate scent straight from Heaven that gets our attention.

Then the saying everything is coming up roses meaning everything is going very well, who would not want that?  What could be better than a rose?

Recently I was out in my rose garden and a rose seemed to call to me. I took a couple of pictures of this rose and while doing so a few things gave me thought.  I thought about all the rose bushes, climbing roses and such that I planted and then had to leave behind every time we moved on.  I too thought about those who had moved into our home(s) and hoped they enjoyed the flowers as much as I had.  Another thought was about one of my favorite souls Helen Keller. She fascinates me to no end. Being blind and deaf she could see and hear things that those of us without the deficits do not. Her words are full of us truths.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of my rose. I have added some quotes of Helen Keller’s that I love and some information too that for those that do not know her will give you more than insight as to the person she was.  If I am half the women as she was I will be content.  If someone should ever ask me if I could go back in time and meet someone Helen Keller would come to mind.

A line from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’ meaning a rose is a rose by no other name it is just that a rose.  Nothing to me can compare to the fragrance of a rose a slight hint of the rose’s delicate scent can bring memories from long ago.  My favorite perfume is Joy Perfume, the bouquet lite and lovely.

As I have said Helen Keller is a favorite of mine.  I wrote about her disabilities in my short about Senses.  So much can and has been said about this dear lady.  To me she had more vision than any sighted soul.  When I walk among my flowers particularly my rose garden I think of Helen Keller.  Maybe it is because I love this poem:

Helen Keller With a Rose

By Florence Earle Coates


Others may see thee; I behold thee not;
Yet most I think thee, beauteous blossom, mine:
For I, who walk in shade, like Proserpine—
Things once too briefly looked on, long forgot—
Seem by some tender miracle divine,
When breathing thee, apart,
To hold the rapturous summer warm within my heart.

We understand each other, thou and I!
Thy velvet petals laid against my cheek,
Thou feelest all the voiceless things I speak,
And to my yearning makest mute reply:
Yet a more special good of thee I seek,
For God who made—oh, kind!—
Beauty for one and all, gave fragrance for the blind!



From The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller:  Even in the days before my teacher came, I used to feel along the square stiff boxwood hedges, and, guided by the sense of smell, would find the first violets and lilies. There, too, after a fit of temper, I went to find comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass. What joy it was to lose myself in that garden of flowers, to wander happily from spot to spot, until, coming suddenly upon a beautiful vine, I recognized it by its leaves and blossoms, and knew it was the vine which covered the tumble-down summer-house at the farther end of the garden! Here, also, were trailing clematis, drooping jessamine, and some rare sweet flowers called butterfly lilies, because their fragile petals resemble butterflies’ wings. But the roses–they were loveliest of all. Never have I found in the greenhouses of the North such heart-satisfying roses as the climbing roses of my southern home. They used to hang in long festoons from our porch, filling the whole air with their fragrance, untainted by any earthy smell; and in the early morning, washed in the dew, they felt so soft, so pure, I could not help wondering if they did not resemble the asphodels of God’s garden.

In a letter written by Helen Keller to Anne Sullivan (her teacher) describing her meetings with two renowned operatic tenors, John McCormack and Enrico Caruso:

“hearing them sing by feeling the vibrations of their voices. Excerpts from letter _ “Once we happened to be at the hotel where McCormack was staying. His publicity man arranged for him to sing “My Wild Irish Rose” for me. A number of the singer’s friends and ours were gathered in the sitting-room for the performance. I was all expectation and excitement. My fingers were on his lips, but no sound came from them for several seconds. Then he cried, “I can’t, I can’t” his tears wet my hand, and turning away he ran into his bedroom. I loved him for that tenderness which seemed to me the flower of the Irish heart. How different Caruso was when we met under similar circumstances! When I entered his room, Caruso was being shaved. A pretty girl was manicuring his nails. “Ah! You have come,” Caruso said, and seized my two hands and clapped them on his great chest, which was bare, and with almost terrifying intensity burst into Samon’s lament over his blindness. I have never dreamed that a human chest could expand as his did, nor that a throat could emit such a volume of sound. To come back to “My Wild Irish Rose,” I love it because I remember my teacher as a wild Irish rose when she came to me. It is no hyperbole to say that when I touched that rose, happiness skipped to my side. The wild-rose tells a wondrous story in my life of growth and beauty. Its perfume is the fragrance of God’s Goodness and of a Love that passeth knowledge, Helen.”

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart.’ Helen Keller  

To me to be blind and able to see and to have realization more than those with sight is a special gift and she used her gifts to the fullest.

‘The rose I hold dear to my heart….’ Helen Keller


I love to take the time to smell the roses along the way….





© 2009 ….RaeDi

A few days ago, I was sitting on our back deck.  I had taken a book with me to read.  The songs of nature kept calling to me.  So, I finally put down my book.  I closed my eyes and just listened.  It really feeds my soul.  I am not only hearing multitudes of different bird songs and calls, but also I see such a diverse gathering of birds all in varying sizes and feathers of all colors.  It is almost as if you drink in the sounds and sights.  I know what things look like and am able to name the noise; but that is because I have lived my life with sight and sound.  If  blind and deaf now could I remember what the word stood for be it color,  hearing the color would I see it or  the shape, texture, music, name and so much more could I still hear the source with thought .  When I think of this quote from Helen Keller, the meaning in the quote has only intensified my need to take that special time and become one with my spirit, one with my maker and one with all the wondrous things that surround me.    To me, it makes me whole.  It makes me want to know as much as possible about all of nature.

 “Make the most of every sense, glory in all of the pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you”….Helen Keller

This is something I have kept in my wood box for over a ‘few’ decades.  The first time I read this it gave me much pause to think what this truly meant.  I had always been fascinated with Helen Keller. As an infant, she contracted an illness that caused her to become deaf and blind; she could no longer see the world or her family, nor could she hear the words being spoken, there would be no more sounds of laughter.   

The senses she had left compensated for her loss of sight and sound.  The other senses became aware and bonded to interchange.  Helen Keller learned how to use each of her senses that she had left.  I sometimes wonder if she gained more than a disability.  She saw things that most do not even notice.  She heard things that most of us are not even aware.  How many times have I not heard the songbird or did not see all the colors that surrounded me for one reason or another, being too busy?  She was deaf and blind, and she missed nothing.  It also brings to my mind taking the time to smell the roses along the way.   

The gifts we are each borne with should never be wasted.   I find taking some time each day, wherever it may be, in my woods, at our beach, in one of my gardens, on one of our decks or even our balcony or  just sitting at a window because of cold and rain to  just relax and let go.  I ask in prayer for the world to be put in the palm of my hand, to let me experience what my maker has given us in sight and sound.   I put a little time aside to take in all that surrounds me.  I watch for natures calling cards.  It does not take long and nature will put on a show for me.   I have learned to hear without sound, and to see without sight, I open up my spirit and take in all of what nature has to give me. 

I cannot imagine not hearing anything, no songbirds, music, conversation, laughter and so much more.  I close my eyes and cannot imagine not seeing all that surrounds me.  I can picture it in my mind, but I wonder for how long?  When you are born deaf and/or blind, you have no memory of such.  Those that lose their hearing and sight as young children how long after losing hearing will the memory of words being spoken, the rain on a tin roof, our four-legged friends and our friends with feathers how long before they fade away?  No songs to be heard, no animal sounds, not seeing what family and friends look like, the sunups and sunsets, children at play.

Being deaf and blind can be a disability, but I have seen that they can be equal in sight and sound by matching other senses to compensate for the different.  The variable being we are blessed with many kinds of senses.   They may not have sight or cannot hear anymore, but they seem to hear and see so much more than some people without the same deficits.  They are very much aware of what is going on around them.  How many of us go through life where we choose to hear no sounds, and are blind to so much around us.  To some it makes it easier.  Don’t see, don’t hear, and so don’t have to deal with it.   They bury their head in the sand.    I am so blessed to have all my senses.  I choose to use all of them to the fullest.   I always have, that is where my inquisitive mind comes into play.  I needed to see the minute details; I wanted to be aware of the slightest of notes.  Each and all gave me color in my life, allowed me to study the masterpieces and to hear the faintest of sonatas.  All this from smelling my rosebuds, as I was gathering a few from the different rose plants in my rose garden.  Helen Keller words reminded me enjoy all that surrounds me; let nothing not be found as a pleasure of one kind or another.  

I know she saw and heard things that neither you nor I have yet ascertained there are so many things yet to discover.   What path lies ahead that will teach us a new color or new note, think of all the souls that we meet and can share all of our combined knowledge. I am waiting to hear and see what discoveries each and all have made.  Open my eyes and let me hear….

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