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Stop to Smell the Flowers

This weekend, the saying ‘stop to smell the flowers,’ was top of mind for me. First used by golfer Walter Hagen, he said, “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

As our restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 become more stringent, so, too, do our options for non-virtual, ‘live’ connections. As someone who lives on her own, and who is inherently extroverted, I know this to be challenging. However, there is no choice but to follow guidelines in order to support our health system, protect those who are more vulnerable, and to flatten the curve as we await a successful vaccine.

Walking has been a blessing for me whether on my own or masked, with a friend or relative. It gets me outside and exercising, connected directly or indirectly with others, and I find it helps me put things into perspective.

As I walked through one of our city’s remarkable ravines, I saw something wonderful. Most of the leaves had come off the trees, sightlines were better, and though they were well camouflaged, there were two large, white-tailed deer just up a hill off the path. They were beautiful and we marveled at being able to see them while in the heart of the city. As we watched, one of the deer began to stomp its hoof- a sign of warning to other deer- and we noted a large coyote far to the right of the area. It, too, was beautiful in its own way. I mentioned to the person I was with that it felt like I was at a live screening of The Nature of Things (minus David Suzuki’s narration!) but that I did not want to watch the ending!

We chose to move on, but for that moment, figuratively stopping to ‘smell the flowers’ allowed us a wonderful experience and opportunity. Being able to pause, to step away for a few moments from the reality of the pandemic and its impact and implications, is a gift.

Whenever and wherever you are, remember to ‘stop to smell the flowers.’

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