That comes from a Mac Davis tune. Certainly some of you aged remember the prolific song writer.
Our world is so politicized and torn apart that I have rarely taken the time to consider the good life and the speed at which is passes by. I don’t imagine that is a malady I suffer alone. The politics truly are hard to escape. Even our local news is no longer local. Weather and sports about does it for me these days, but even those often dabble into views well beyond their stated professions of reporting sports and weather. Of one thing I am certain. Politics and politicians did not make ours the great nation it is. I most certainly agree with Mac:
You got to Stop and Smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t Stop and Smell the roses along the way
I walked out into the back yard the other day and was stared down by a rather large doe. One thing I have learned is that when a doe fixes her unwavering gaze on you, there is a little one somewhere. Soon enough the little guy or gal came bounding and frolicking across the yard. It was only after the fawn was well away that the doe removed her protective gaze from me, leaped the split rail and followed.
The deer also reminded me of one of my life examples, a life mentor (even if she doesn’t realize it) and likely my most honest critic. I have trouble keeping the deer away from the parts of my landscape I prefer they didn’t eat. She recommended to me a particular brand of deer repellant that worked for her. Understand that I have tried every known concoction, manmade and others, and the deer eventually eat the plants anyway. So I bought some of the recommended brand and remembered her most specific direction, “Don’t get any on you.” I would also advise a political maneuver, make sure you know which way the breeze is blowing. I can’t even describe the stench, but when you use it the smell – sort of like politics – stays in your nose the rest of the day. The police should put this in fifty gallon containers for riot control. So far, the deer have steered clear of their favorite hostas and the blooms on the flowering bushes.
My neighbor walks his beagles out the road behind the house and one of them oblivious to the surrounding world always runs into my yard to investigate whatever it is that beagles are always searching for. I was certain that one sniff of the deer repellant into that powerful bugled nose and my beagle buddy would be long gone. I have a knock-out rose bush, if you are familiar, with yellow and white blooms. It looks great this spring with lots of flowers because the deer have steered clear. Sniffing as usual, the beagle wandered around and even dwelled at the rose bush before jogging away on his stumpy legs. When he stopped to smell the roses, what repelled the deer did not faze the beagle.
It is hard to avoid focusing on what most everyone seems to focus these days – politics. Sadly it seems to divide us and too many of us seem to feed on it, think about it, write about it and allow it to steer our lives and relationships.
As I sent birthday greetings to my friend, she responded that she did not know where the years have gone and she has packed them as full of life as possible. She’s been smelling the roses. I will never withdraw from current events. I consider it an important duty as a citizen of this great and blessed country. As we are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, there is a time for everything and with all the troubles we face, there is always a time to “smell the roses.” Life is amazingly short, focus on living it well.
What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. – CROWFOOT, last words
© J. D. Pendry 2017