Not in Florida. Our seasons are slightly off schedule. While the rest of you may be currently welcoming your favorite blooms, my flowers were up and out in May!
From the gardenias — one of my favorite scents and vivid connection to my childhood…
…to the jasmine — a new favorite! — my flowers have been heavy in bloom.
But they are no more. They’re spent. And walking past the stark green bushes and vines, barren of velvet white blossoms, the air absent perfume, I asked myself: Did I miss it? Did I forget to take the time to stop and smell the roses? (No, those are still recovering from their transplant operation and NOT producing quite yet) But the gardenias?
Stopping at the screen door, I paused on the notion. I do remember clipping that one bowl full of coveted fragrance and placed it in the kitchen…
But were there others? Honing in on images and actions, my weeks passed by in a blur of thought. Yet in all my journeys in and out of the house, to the compost pile, off to the garden, I couldn’t remember a second. Then there were my blueberries and lavender, the Gerber daisies… I planted a whole new section along the driveway. Wanted to add a little color and brighten the landscape, a little cheer for my return home.
A stillness took hold of me. But if I’m too busy to notice… Should I even bother?
Swinging the door open, I hurried into the patio. I tossed my hat to a chair, swiped the sweat from my brow, and got right to business with work of clipping carrot stems, dusting the dirt from garlic bulbs. Then there were the zucchini and squash that needed washed, the strawberries…another round of beans to be shelled. Gardening in spring is all about harvesting — who has time for flowers!?
I should. I should make the time. Before my vegetables, those flowers were my pride and joy. In years past, anticipation pulled and pushed as I impatiently yearned for those blossoms to burst, drenching my life with fragrance and beauty, filling my home with their beautiful bouquet. Sigh. But not this year. This spring I was too busy to be impatient, and NEARLY too busy to notice.
But I did notice, albeit in passing. More than notice — and more importantly — I was reminded to take stock of life AS it happens. When it happens.
It seems we’re all so busy these days, doesn’t it? Careening through life, slipping and sliding around schedules and obligations, tripping and falling over worry and stress we seem to miss half the joy of living and for what? Whether it’s fresh vegetables or full bank accounts, reaching the top of the career ladder or swinging from the highest status bar — does it matter? Really?
Some times I wonder. When I allow myself the time to stop and think, anyway!
Isn’t life ultimately about healthy kids and happy families? A breath of fresh air (preferably laden with scent), on a beautiful day (better filled with a pallet of color), spent with the ones we love? Family and friends, or time spent alone, it feels better to me when I take the time to pay attention — to what I’m doing, what others are doing… to the world around me in general.
Life is short, life is sweet. We make choices, we choose our path, but with the passing of another spring, the exhaustion of another season of bloom, I for one, am reminded to savor each and every day.