Thursday, May 08, 2008

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

On Monday morning Lian and I took a walk to the park. It is our morning routine. It gives me some time to wake up, enjoy the quiet of the neighborhood and observe the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) changes in nature. For Lian it is a chance for exercise and to see if this would be the day that one of the neighborhood kitties would finally stay and play with her, rather than high-tail it into the bushes. She is always hopeful.

This morning, when I stepped outside I noticed a very peculiar smell. The sun had only been up for about an hour, and there was a very heavy dew covering everything. The air was still, with no discernible breeze, and this scent was thick and cloying. Now, for me to even notice a smell means that it had to be very strong. Ever since I suffered a concussion a few years ago my sense of smell has become rather unreliable. Many times I can't smell a thing. But this scent was one I couldn't ignore.

My first thought was that there was a fire somewhere, because the smell was everywhere that I walked. It didn't seem to dissipate as I continued to the park. It also made me think of the way that smoke from a house fire seems to hang low when there isn't a breeze to whisk it away. However, I realized that there was a sweetness to the scent, which is not something I would normally connect to a fire.

It wasn't until I arrived at the park that I began to suspect what the source of the smell might be. I noticed an enormous number of honeysuckle bushes lining the park, all in full bloom. There were many of all sizes, some as big as small trees. I realized, that there were also several growing all along the route that Lian and I take to get to the park. I walked up to one of the bushes and took a sniff of the delicate white flowers. That was the scent! Sweet and delicate. But when the scent is multiplied by thousands of had become rather over powering.

It was a moment of joy for me, as it was one of the few times that I could actually smell something. I find now, that because my olfactory sense is quite diminished, when I do actually smell something it becomes a moment of minor celebration. Back when my sense of smell was normal, I don't recall thinking much about my sense of smell other than this thing smelled good or that thing smelled bad. Now, I can totally relate to the phrase: Stopping to Smell the Flowers! There is sound wisdom in that phrase.

By doing so, I got to enjoy a moment of pure sensual delight that I rarely get to experience. And, while we were stopped by the bush, a small purring kitty came out and actually brushed up against Lian. She was so happy! So happy in fact, that her excitement sent the cat fleeing back into the bushes again. Oh well, it was just a moment...but no less meaningful!

1 comment:

Helena said...

Every now and then I have these moments of intense awareness, too. They make my day.

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