Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
TITLE: Smell the Flowers Along The Way
By Robin McGowan
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From the time I was an adolescent, I had always heard my Mother say, “Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers along the way.” She would say this to her friends, family, and her children. Even at a young age, I realized the meaning behind the cliché, but I did not understand the impact that those words would have on my life until much later. My Mother passed away three years ago. Ironically, her words have more meaning today then ever before.
For instance, I must apply the wisdom of that simple cliché to the minutes and hours of each God-given day. I am one of those Type-A driven personalities that run around in a rush so often, trying to do just one more thing. There is always one more thing to do. I often set expectations to accomplish these tasks much earlier than they need to be accomplished. If it is weekend cleaning; then I need to accomplish it by Thursday. If it is a work project due Friday; then I need to accomplish it by Wednesday. I am always beating a rush that never exists. I am certain many of you can relate. I concluded that being in control and conquering my to do list early, allows me the privilege of feeling in control, but it denies me the opportunity of peace and tranquility in each moment. If anything, I am plagued in each moment, knowing full well that I am losing so many special moments and hours that should be captured now.
In my office, as I write this, I am surrounded by pictures of lovely gardens and flowers. And it surprises me; yes me, that I have chosen so many serene and tranquil pictures, when so much of the time I am anything but serene. There are no coincidences. Somehow, God spoke to me the day I purchased these pictures. God and my soul are forever whispering to me and reminding me that I can stop, breathe, and enjoy the moment. Each picture is so vivid with color and beauty, that its warmth mesmerizes you. These pictures are inviting, captivating, and soothing. But there is a favorite one I have, my beach picture. This picture faces an ocean, but the path to the ocean is what is so captivatingly beautiful. On the path, there is a beautiful gazebo etched with a colorful bouquet of flowers, cascading and relaxing in the peaceful sun. These flowers are draped eloquently around this gazebo, as if they have found the most peaceful and relaxing place to rest. In fact, when you enter the gazebo, you want to rest with them. If you were actually there, you would have to walk along this path and under this gazebo to enter the beach. I am certain it would take your breath away, as the flowers greet and meet you with their warmth. Happily, I am brought to a verse that I am so familiar with, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew 6: 3-4). I am allowing these words to soak into my soul right now, realizing that this moment is all I truly have; knowing I finally have stopped and smelled the flowers along the way. I guess there is no coincidence that the seed my Mother planted so long ago, as finally bloomed forth in my life.
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