Botanic Gardens Spirit

During the late 1970s, I lived in an old apartment building near Cheeseman
Park and the Denver Botanic Gardens.   At the time, the Gardens did not have
a set entrance fee, but were accessible for a donation, so I went there
often, usually in the late afternoons until closing.   As a young woman
alone, I did not like to walk in Cheeseman Park (being more concerned about
muggers than ghosts) but I felt safe in the Gardens.

I had heard stories that the Gardens had at one time been part of a
cemetery, but did not think much about it, until the year the Japanese
garden was built.  On a rather chill, rainy day in the fall of 1978, I went
to see the progress on this, and saw a small marble headstone, like a
child‚s headstone, lying on a pile of dirt where the lake for the Japanese
garden was being dug.  There was a carved figure of a reclining lamb on top
of the stone, freshly chipped from the digging. The name was too weathered
to read, but the date of death was in 188(?), aged 3 years and a few months
(if I recall correctly.)   I‚d been walking in the rose garden section of
the Gardens earlier, as there were a few late roses still blooming, and had
found a small white rose that someone, perhaps a child, had picked and
thrown down.  I‚d picked it up and was carrying it, and on an impulse I laid
it by the little headstone with a blessing, and presently went home.

I woke the next morning about dawn to find a single, very fresh rose petal
on my pillow a couple of inches from my face.  It was a real, physical rose
petal, not white, but a sort of deep pink color, and small, as if from an
old-fashioned rose rather than a hybrid tea-rose.  I picked it up, and could
feel and smell it.  I said, „thank you, and laid it gently on the night
stand while I went into the bathroom, and then to the kitchen to put the
kettle on.  When I came back to the bedroom, thinking that I would press the
petal in a book, the petal was gone.  I would have wondered if perhaps my
cat had taken it, but he‚d been with me in the bathroom, then ran to the
kitchen for breakfast, and stayed there eating while I went back in the
bedroom.  I could find no trace of the petal, but there was still a faint
lingering scent of rose on my pillow.

I think perhaps someone left it for me in return for the white rose.  As to
why it should vanish once I'd seen it, I have no idea.

Rowen G.

Back to Stories