Stop and Smell the Flowers

If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?           ~Khalil Gibran


No one in our house is a morning person.

During summer vacations when everyone was home, I’m pretty sure the neighbors called us the True Blood house. The lights were always on here in Bon Temps and the vampires were busy moving about.

Mornings are ugly for most of us. We barely make it out the door on time for wherever we have to be. We have learned, over the years, to take nothing that another says personally in the morning; in fact, it’s better just to NOT TALK to anyone at all.

You’ll notice above that I said “most of us”. Even though my husband Andrew is not an early bird, when he does get up, he is disgustingly cheerful. He always has a sweet greeting and a smile for everyone. When the boys were home, he would often try to engage them in a dialogue about what they had to do that day. Needless to say, this was neither effective nor appreciated.

In the morning Andrew likes to go out and tend to the garden. After making coffee, it’s the first thing he does in the morning. He gets the sprinklers going in the summer, waters all the potted flowers and herbs, picks up sticks that have blown off the trees overnight, and, if it’s cool enough, takes the paper and his coffee out to enjoy on the patio.

I love our garden as well, yet never seem to find time to enjoy it during the week. But today, when I woke I was drawn to the bedroom window. There was the garden below me, in all its morning glory. I noticed that the butterfly bush had suddenly sprouted its purple blooms, and my finicky gardenia had finally allowed its fat green buds to open into gorgeous white flowers.

I decided to make an exception to the standard morning rush routine, and went outside for a few minutes with my camera.

The hydrangea bush, which hasn’t fully bloomed for years, was going strong, sparkling under the water from the sprinkler.


The tiger lilies had entered the stage, their black and yellow pistons just shouting for a photo.


The mint had totally taken over the raised bed, as mint is want to do.


The basil needed harvesting before it went to seed. Lots of pesto was in our future.


The Mandevilla was blooming, its showy pink flowers preening on the trellis, saying “Look at me! Look at me!”


So much can happen in a summer garden in just one week.

I almost missed enjoying the fragrance of those gardenia blooms. Some of them were already turning to brown.

It made me think about the bigger picture. What else was I missing each day, with all my hurrying and single-minded focus on getting stuff done?

Maybe there is a connection between Andrew’s cheerful disposition and the time he spends in the garden each morning. Something more than just his french-pressed coffee.

‘Stop and Smell the Flowers’. And do it sometimes in the morning, even if you’re not a morning person.

I think there’s something to it. It fits with my Summer Sabbatical plan.

So much can happen in a life in just one week. Let’s try not to miss it all.

I struck my nose in the lavender pot and took in a big, deep dose of Provence. Then I went back inside, and got on a conference call.

I still got all my important stuff done, but I felt a lot happier the rest of the day.

2 thoughts on “Stop and Smell the Flowers

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