Gail's Blog

Did You Stop to Smell the Roses? Do they still have fragrance?

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”.

"Stop and smell me"--said the rose

“Stop and smell me”–said the rose

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!

8 responses to “Did You Stop to Smell the Roses? Do they still have fragrance?”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Gail, you are right on as usual. I believe that what it all boils down to is living life in balance – then there’s time for everything, including the fragrance of plants and a walk in nature. People concentrate in on one or two aspects of their lives, like the daily news or their love affair with cell phones and then get out of balance. A friend grows roses that are so fragrant you can’t help taking little sniffs when there’s a vase of them around!

  2. Vikki says:

    Gail, What a beautiful reminder. I just put in my garden. Daily (or more_ I go out to take a whiff of the fragrant herbs, close my eyes, and remember who I truly am, and the source of all life. It can be a struggle to connect with what really matters, but your spirit is a reminder and a help. Thank you dear friend.

  3. Coleen Lumly says:

    I believe that the reason so many people find the smell of roses “offensive” is because their vibration is SO high, it is actually uncomfortable for people who are stuck in low vibrations. Rather than breathing through the discomfort and allowing the vibrational shift the roses offer, they just disregard them. So sad, for us and the roses. Thanks Gail!

  4. Dick Tippett says:

    I’m a gardener. i went one year without planting one; it was the saddest year of my life. i don’t always have the time to tend them as i would like, yet they reward me with food and flowers and exercise and the simple pleasure of tending for them.

    Go, pot something!

  5. Marion says:

    I love this. I also could not understand “stop and smell the roses” when I heard it as a teenager. Now at 66 I really get it. I am grateful for the flowers around our home. When we moved in I planted a night blooming jasmine by our bedroom window. It gives off such a beautiful aroma when it blooms.
    All in all, we just need to remind our-self to enjoy the pleasures of life.

  6. Laurie Pollack Donohoo says:

    We are not only losing the scent of our flowers, but food groups.

    I just discovered why our regular bananas are becoming tasteless. All the sprays we are using are robbing the plants of vitamins and production of sweetness and scent. We need nature only!

  7. Judith says:

    I stop many times a day and appreciate my surroundings – the roses, lilies, lilacs and gorgeous mountain views I have of the Sierra Mountains. At night, I look at the millions of stars we’re able to see because there’s no light pollution. I am in awe of where I live! I’m grateful gardenias still have their fabulous fragrance. Unless they’re home grown, roses do not have fragrance any more – so maybe it’s “Stop and smell the gardenias!”

  8. Jude says:

    I have been taking long walks in the evening around dusk when the energy of the city starts to relax and always take this time to marvel at nature. I admire and thank the trees and not just the trunks but I look up; I stare into a flower and look at all it’s moving parts that have brought it to fruition and of course I smell them not knowing whether some are scented or not. On my way to the office just a moment ago a big red rose was growing out of a pot that was primarily full of succulents…now, how could I pass this up and the win was that it actually had a scent. Made me smile!

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