Years ago, I mean years ago, when I was just 19, a friend said to me “don’t forget to stop and smell the roses”.
I never forgot that. It seemed so odd to say to me. At 19, I was a busy girl and moving forward. Of course, I smell the roses. At that time, they actually had fragrance. Now they are sold for appearance, size and hybrid colors. I sent my sister three dozen for her birthday. I am sure they had no fragrance. I received a beautiful bouquet from my son on Mother’s Day and the roses had no fragrance. I still enjoyed them and kept them alive into their second week. It seems we have bred the roses for the practical over the sentimental. It’s definitely a symptom of larger trends in America. I wonder if the breeders knew that we were forgetting to stop and smell the roses so they didn’t have to be fragrant any more.
I was walking my dog Max this past week and went by a gardenia bush. I had to almost kneel to reach it but I just had to smell its heady fragrance. What a delight! Gardenias are not shipped around the country in boxes, nor snipped for bouquets. We have pretty much left them in tact. Perhaps, we should pay attention to the little things that go unnoticed until they are gone–like fragrant roses. Do we take the time to just sit and listen to the birds and smell the roses?
This past week I was awakened by a group of very noisy crows. They were in a complete panic and were signalling madly to each other. I am not sure what the commotion was but it was a raucous. I looked out the window to find them on nearby branches watching a cat walk by. I don’t know if one was wounded but you couldn’t miss the urgency of the situation. After the crows left, the song birds came out. Where I live they sing all day. It is the most exquisite sound and transports you back to the forest, right here in the city. Around mid morning come the group of wild parrots. You hear them before you see them. They sit on the phone wires and just talk away. Then they head for the apple tree and hide in the leaves and eat the apples. The tree looks all a flutter.
What’s the point of this all? The 19 year old head remembers the friend’s words, “don’t forget to stop and smell the roses”. This life of ours, especially through this media driven election year, will only be manageable if we can manage ourselves and be aware of how much we give attention to the things that are closer to nature, our true home and rhythm The further we remove ourselves from nature and her rhythm, the more dysfunctional we become. Our society is fast-paced, almost manic. We don’t have to be. Make sure you stop and smell the roses, the gardenias, the orange blossoms, lily-of-the valley and lilacs. When we die, we will be given flowers we won’t be able to smell. Enjoy them now while we can!