Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stopping to Smell the Gardenias

Housework to do. Errands to run. Posts to edit.  Weariness and fretting over the oil spill in the Gulf. Much to do. I really had no business putting about in the yard and taking the time to just sit on the wooden swing and be still. But I'm glad I did.

It's a beautiful, sunshiny day, bare wisps of clouds hang high in the bright blue sky and it's actually momentarily cool, at least on my swing in the shade, thanks to a pleasant breeze that brushes by every couple of minutes. It is unusually quiet today in this cluttered, suburban neighborhood, barely an invasion of sound, save for the occasional passing of a vehicle, and at least for the moment, there are no bugs nipping at me.

I swing, with the puppy on the seat beside me, and take notice of my immediate surroundings. How the grass is greening up and finally overtaking the weeds. The banana trees are sprouting all sorts of babies from their roots. My Mother's Day daylily is still giving me blooms. The butterfly bush is about to burst with pretty purple flowers, the Asian lilies have just started to flower and the little lantana bouquets are making a show. The hydrangeas are flaunting their pinks, blues and purples, and the gardenias, just beginning to bloom, emit their strong and beautiful fragrance inside the breeze. Even the elephant ears are finally bursting from the ground.

Soon a butterfly flutters by. A large bird flies high above me, in the space between the trees, stretching his massive wings and just floating across the sky. The songs of half a dozen birds are all around me and a finch lands briefly on the feeder. A red headed woodpecker flies in onto the oak tree just across from me hopping up the trunk of the tree. A squirrel stalks across on the other side of the yard in search of acorns. A dragonfly zooms by. A lizard crawls nearby. A tiny grasshopper jumps at my feet.

My thoughts abruptly trace back to days at the office not so long ago - where I would have typically been on a day just like this, right in this moment in time. While there are fond memories of those days, these that have invaded this tranquil moment are not. Black thoughts of office politics. Corporate transitions, takeovers, mergers and people in a constant state of worry over their jobs. Backstabbing. Cliques. 20% of the people doing 80% of the work while others seem to just do the bare minimum to collect the paycheck and nothing more. Far too many deadlines. Far too much work. High stress. A tyrant boss. A complete contrast from this moment.  I do not miss any of that, so why in the world did that enter my mind?

Maybe to remind me to stop. To pay attention. To listen. To take joy and pleasure in the beauty God has given to us. To be grateful for where I am in this moment in time. And to stop on occasion and smell the gardenias.



  1. Awh Mary, this is an awesome post. and beeeeutiful are so good at photography..I could imagine what you were writing about, and the aroma of the gardenia...sitting there with your sweet little buddy. It's all good isn't it? Enjoying for this are so blessed to be able to be out of the rat race..and to sit and just be.....thank you for sharing your lovely back yard, and sweet, simple moments of quiet on your swing....very serene visit...

  2. Thanks Faith! I was having a moment! :)

  3. This is exactly the type of day & excatly the type of garden or yard I was talking about the other day... what a perfect sounding moment in time!

    Thank you so much for sharing! :o)

  4. Once upon a time I had a very prestigious job at a very large university...not a faculty job, but good so far as staff I miss it? NO NO NO...just miss the money...but like you said, so much politics, ugh, and seeing people put nothing into their jobs and waltz off with paychecks rankled me!

  5. Oh my goodness! What beautiful pictures!! And an amazing post! Sounds like you are enjoying life right now!

    I love the smell of gardenias! :)


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