by Rush Cole
Angels have communicated with me for as long as I can remember. When I was a young child they let me know they were nearby in a variety of ways: I felt, saw, heard, or scented their presence. I took for granted that others were aware of them, too. Only as I left childhood behind did I realize that not everyone perceived what I did. In fact, it seemed that most grownups thought the idea of angels was rather charming, but without substance. Seeking acceptance from the "real" world, I decided the companions of my youth were merely imaginary, and I refused to acknowledge them or their unconditional love for me. Little did I know then that the time would come when I could no longer deny the reality of my angelic support team.
"Rose" came to me the first time in the autumn of 1980. I didn't suspect then that she was an angel, just as I also didn't question the source of the almost overwhelming love that sometimes surrounded me. All I knew in those days was that every time I heard Bette Midler's song, "The Rose", I longed to return to a home that seemed to be nothing more than a dim and distant memory.
Fourteen long years passed. If Rose was with me during that time, I didn't consciously connect with her. Most of my energy was being spent struggling with old emotional baggage.
September 1994 found me at a seminar presented by noted author Caroline Myss. She made one statement, in particular, that stayed with me: Dr. Myss conjectured that, sooner or later, we can each choose to allow the part of us that is healthy and healed to take control of our lives. It was her opinion that once that choice is made, the inevitable result is the creation of a whole new personal reality.
The following day I was in my studio, preparing to work on an oil painting, when I felt a sudden urge to "play" with watercolors, instead. Surprised, I watched as two brilliant blue eyes flowed from my brush onto the handmade French paper.
"Who are you?" I whispered.
"Turn on the radio," came the soft command. I did, and was just in time to catch the opening notes of "The Rose". The music undid me at last, and I wept for reasons I couldn't explain, even to myself.
On November 14, 1996, Rose appeared to me again. This time she was tenderly cradling planet Earth in her hands. Five birthday candles glowed atop the sphere; five, the number symbolizing both humanity and spiritual mastery. A tiny smile hovered on the angel's lips as she offered me the world, a look that told me she was not sure I would accept what she wanted so much to give.
Rose's message was implicit, yet I felt old fears rise inside me. If I allowed myself to receive her gift, then I would have to open my heart and live forever after from a space of pure love. The very thought of it terrified me.
Six months later, I made the leap. Surrendering to the vision that continued to haunt me, I painted my beloved Rose and her Terra. By bringing what was inside me into the outer world, I gave the angel tacit permission to fly into my heart and to stay there. In that moment, I knew that I had come home.
The gift that Rose brings is not for me alone. All who are drawn to her receive their own new world. She simply mirrors an inner change that has already occurred. Recognition of that change opens the way for a whole new life to manifest. Like the candles on Rose's Gift, the future already being born is one of Light, Love, and Joy for those who are willing to accept it for themselves.