Pest. Invasive species. Not only does the multiflora rose have a bad rep in these mountains, but in several states it is declared a noxious weed. Yes, it does grow like wildfire. I have read that it was originally imported in order to keep cattle enclosed without fencing, then ran rampant. A man who came here to inquire (unsuccessfully) about buying our back acreage warned that his first step would be to spray-poison the dreaded multiflora.
In spite of it all, the heart knows things which reason cannot explain. For ten miraculous days in May, the perimeter of yard and trail bloomed with wild roses in lavish and generous abundance. Always a presence in spring, the multiflora this year presented a lush, endless wall of white flowers. I had no idea a scent could bring me to tears. Could shut down my brain, open my strained heart, still tense with winter worries, and allow beauty to overwhelm, reassure, and silence.