“We are human beings not human doings.” Dalai Lama
Had it not been for the pandemic, I might not have taken the opportunity to genuinely watch and listen to the seasons change. Living on the east coast of the United States, I have been observant of and awed by the distinct seasonal shifts over time. However, the noticing is more subtle and acute.
For much of the last 40+ years, I have been preoccupied with consumerism—doing and consuming, rather than mindful contemplation. Careers, materialism, raising a family, clubs, volunteering, church, school, sports—none of which are wrong in and of themselves, but can be when we allow any or all to become all-consuming.
Since moving in with my father towards the end of winter, I have been keenly aware of the sights and sounds of cyclical variations. The relative silence of winter beautifully contrasts the birdsongs of Spring. Have you noticed how loud tweeting birds are as they sing to attract their mates? Then as Spring gave way to Summer, the chirping of grasshoppers, crickets and cicadas picked up the melody. What will the sounds of fall be, I wonder?
My mother loved flowers and I would not be surprised if the following was by design on her part–since spring there is always some plant blooming. First to erupt were Hyacinths and Irises; yellow, lavender, and purple blossoms bursting forth. Some of the purple Irises were so dark, they looked iridescently black—absolutely gorgeous.
After the Irises faded pink Cora Bells, White Lilacs, Peonies and various lilies cascaded through her flower beds. As they began to pass, Snapdragons and Resurrection Lilies flowered and have now given way here in late summer to the flowering Butterfly and Crepe Myrtle bushes.
The family of Robins that nested under the porch have flown the coop as well as two broods of cute Carolina Wrens. Delighted by their antics, I miss their winged presence. But I now find myself keeping company with graceful Monarch Butterflies and hovering Dragonflies that frequent the yard.
Gone for four years, my mother left a true living legacy for me and others to enjoy.
“The quote, “Stop and smell the roses,” is often attributed to golfer Walter Hagen in the 1956 book “The Walter Hagen Story” but he didn’t mention roses. The quote: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
In these days and times, there is much that one could worry about. Perhaps the idea of stopping to smell the roses is not just about “being” but about receiving a gift, whatever the gift may be.
Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose … Romans 8:28
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
Open your heart. Receive. Be.