“ Stop and smell the roses.” How often have you heard that one? Please don’t just smell them. There’s so much more to be experienced—a world untapped in every blossom.
Discover a totally new relationship with flowers, the stuff of nature, or whatever is around you that’s seldom noticed or appreciated. Start by deciding to notice. Make what’s usually in the background of your busy life front and center. Pay attention, now. Focus the full horsepower of your sensory apparatus on a single flower, for instance.
Hold on. Wait… don’t rush this.
What do your eyes see? Shift magnification, noting shades of light and shadow, the colors, the textures, the closed still-unpopped buds, the wobble in the breeze, its rootedness into the earth, the bugs crawling on the stem or buzzing around it.
Touch it—gently now. Is it warm from the sun? Moist from the dew? Do the bloom and leaves gently yield to your fingers, while being springy on the bud, yet tough and resisting in the stem? Can you imagine how much more a blind person would be “seeing” with their touch?
Listen. A flower may be silent, but it grows in a world that’s anything but. Bend down—eye to eye, ear to bloom, with it. Stand still, your ear as close as possible. Get quiet, really really quiet. Turn off the hum of mental chatter, your personal Muzak. Can you hear the flower now? The buzz of insects, the chirp of birds, the rustling of the wind in nearby branches, the purposeful footsteps of someone going by, the hum of traffic in the distance. You might even hear the rubbing of the fabric in your clothes as you breath in and out. Quiet? No way!
O.K., now smell it. Really do it right, with your eyes closed—slow and deep. Don’t just smell the blossom, but also the leaves, buds, seedpods, noting how the various parts seem the same—and different. Compare the part that’s in the sun with the same part that’s in shadow. Is it mustier? Crush a leaf or a petal and inhale the essence released. Let your mind run free. What associations come bubbling up? Are you transported back to grandmother’s garden? What emotions flood in?
Taste it. Knowing that some plants are poisonous, think twice about chewing and swallowing. Build on what your nose unlocked. Is the taste familiar? Like an herb? Bursting with succulent life force? Roll it around in your mouth and explore its texture with the tongue, against the lips. Notice all the associations and emotions unleashed. Drag it out.
Five senses—infinite observations. And that’s just the beginning—that’s the flower as each sense takes it in. Now step back (physically and mentally) so you can experience the whole flower with the whole of you. Doesn’t awe and wonder bubble up? Don’t you, for a moment, feel the magic of “seeing” like a young child? There are no ideas about the flower—just the enjoyment of it, as you respond to its delicate beauty.
Take a quick check out of the corner of your eye, in the back of your mind. Life’s problems are nowhere to be found—for the moment. They’re eclipsed by the splendor of a flower, along with your taking the time to put something else ahead of them.
That’s just one flower, but an encounter very worth your time. It’s one that every flower offers—and any object that’s experienced sincerely can provide.
– FAITH LYNELLA, from More BonBons & Treats, © 2017, by Off the Page Press