Stopping to Smell the Flowering Tree

I had a “stop and smell the roses” moment yesterday. No, really. They weren’t roses, but gorgeous fragrant flowers on a West London tree. I was rushing off to the Tube station, smiled as I noticed their perfume, and kept walking.

But then I stopped.

As a practical matter, I stopped to pull out my BlackBerry and snap this photo as I felt like there was something I could blog about. But it made me think about the importance of stopping. I could smell the flowers just fine, thank you, while I was on the move. I could see them, appreciate their beauty, smile in response, and allow them to add something to my day.

But then I stopped.

When I stopped, I thought about why I stopped; why the flowers meant something to me. In that moment, I was overcome with a huge rush of gratitude: for spring, for where I am in this season, for the ridiculous and frivolous beauty that God has added to the world (we don’t need flowering trees, do we?). Stopping made me grateful. And being grateful gave me hope that there is more to be thankful for in the season to come. And then I kept moving.

I turn 31 today. This year I’m going to stop more. I’d rather slow down and enjoy what’s before me than pass more territory that goes unappreciated.

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1 Response to “Stopping to Smell the Flowering Tree”


  1. 1 Jackie 27 April 2010 at 11:15

    Beautiful words from a beautiful lady. I remember the first time I held you, my sister’s new born daughter.

    How many roads you have traveled in these 31 years. More than many of us travel in a lifetime, if you are counting “travel miles”. Yet I believe you have also learned something that it takes most of us many more years to learn …… If we slow down, and truly appreciate all of life’s blessings, our lives are so much fuller.

    Happy Birthday beautiful lady! May love, peace and joy enhance your special day, and all the wonderful years ahead.

    Love and hugs from “Aunt Jackie”


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