From Rambling Roses to Circles of the Mind


I pass by this old cottage on the Tramore-Waterford Road every day and in the last little while it has been lit up by the splash of deep pink rambling roses.

I’d love to know who planted them and if he/she ever thought that they would continue to add to the beauty of the house long after it had been abandoned.

Perennials make me think of the cyclical nature of life and, indeed, of circles. I’ve decided I’m much more of a circles person than a linear one. All kinds of circles appeal to me ~ wheels, clocks, the full moon, walks that are circular like the walk around Tramore Beach and Backstrand, oranges, tennis balls, spinning tops, globes, camera lenses, circles of friends, circus tents …..

Are youΒ Β a circle or a linear type?Β 

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

53 thoughts on “From Rambling Roses to Circles of the Mind”

  1. I love this little cottage and the roses certainly add to its charm..I like winding paths, pinwheels that go around, odd shapes …I love wind chimes. I love the intricacy of flowers the way the petals open and expose the inner part of the flower…tulips are a favoite but I love the bearded irises. I don’t know where I fit round or linear..I love arcs…which is a part of the circle..I love the mystique of things that you can’t see until you look at them more closely.

        1. That resonates! Sometimes, linear is the right approach, and sometimes, we need the circuitous route for greater understanding, or at least, greater experience!

  2. I’m not linear at all, but I tend to be attracted to patterns. I love different textures, shapes, light and color. I love exploring the patterns and connections between things too,so it isn’t just visual.
    I like circles too … and would want to connect them in an instant to create a chain or divide them up into pie slices. πŸ˜‰

    1. Val, that’s interesting about your definiteness about not being linear but having an attraction to patterns. I’d associate many patterns with being linear.
      Like the idea of pie slices, I must say!

    1. I am in agreement, Sandy. I love the circular, iterative process of going up levels, and if necessary, coming back down them to pick up another loop of feedback and continuing on.

  3. I have never thought about it until I read your piece but it’s circles all the way…..all my life’s a circle πŸ˜ƒβšͺοΈπŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŽπŸŒžπŸŒΌπŸ˜‡πŸŒ»πŸŒΈπŸŒΌβ˜€οΈπŸŒ•πŸŒŽπŸŒ„πŸŒ…πŸŒžπŸŒ

  4. I think I must be circular only because of your post, and the fact that I pass a similarly abandoned terraced house in inner city Dublin on my way into work every day with those very same roses, thinking the very same thing!

  5. Hi Jean,

    Circles, most definitely! In my younger years, I was much more of a linear person. “need to do this to get to the next point in my life. . .etc. etc.” I now realize that life is much more complicated than that. It is also much more enjoyable for me as I view everything as connected.


    1. πŸ™‚ I still remember the first time someone contacted me and said “ a seasoned social worker, what are your insights?” Isn’t seasoned saying “you have been doing this a while” ? But, I embrace my age and experience as they are connected for me, and have been ever since I was “old enough” and intuitive enough to realize it.
      Love the questions you pose, and love the responses–once more, indication of those “social bridges” that you encourage amongst us.

  6. I’d say spirals – upwards or downwards (not often I hope) moving citcles. For unlike a true circle, when we come back to the same point it is always with a bit more knowledge or understanding or a slightly different perspective.

    Love the roses Jean. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Paul, I’ve been thinking a lot about spirals over the last few days. Do they have beginning and end points? In other words, are the lines if you extend them? Those are the kind of spirals I keep seeing in my mind’s eye.

        1. For me it represents our time here on earth Jean – with a starting point and an ending point. As far as metaphysics is concerned I agree that circles are more appropriate. Common spirals in nature that are present everywhere from the shape of our ear to the shape of the galaxy and the structure of plants – are called Fibonacci spirals. Here’s one of many cool videos on this special spiral I find that my life often follows this same spiral effect.

  7. I adore old abandoned houses like this… and decorated by roses? Bonus!
    I have to agree with your readers, Jean; you truly do pose great questions that make us think.
    I, too, had never thought about it. Hmmm… I think I am a mix of both. Circular implies we come back to where we started. Linear implies we go in one direction (though it could change angles it is direct). I think I’m more of a wave! I may be going in a certain direction, by I love to take side trips that give me more views to see, more people to meet that don’t belong on the straight line, more new ideas…

      1. Oh yes! I like that “looped walks off linear tracks”!
        Cul de sacs are to be avoided except in times of “need to pause, regroup, refocus, recentre” before continuing forward!

  8. I love seeing flowers bloom by abandoned homes (but sorry they’re abandoned) — when I lived in the midwest & was nearer the country where I grew up, I would see flowers blooming on farmsteads I remembered from when I was a child. Sometimes I dug up a samples to transplant to my yard, to remember the people by.

  9. Ah, wonderful how they come up year after year, as if believing that the cottage is still inhabited.

    Circles definitely. I love talking about Jersey’s world-famous Lillie Langtry who was born in St Saviour’s Rectory and became one of the world’s best known women, yet now lies buried within a stone’s throw of that same Rectory.

    1. Roy, I hadn’t quite thought of the roses believing the cottage to be still inhabited but each time I’ve passed it since I read your comment on the phone, I’ve been thinking of it.
      Lillie Langtry seems to have been quite a woman!

  10. Wonderful post and question, Jean. I, too, have never thought of this but will go with circles also because they’re like the connections I have with family and friends, both off and online. I suppose linear could be added at times as a form of reaching out. πŸ™‚

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