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Take time to smell the roses

Posted by on August 31, 2012
Motorcycle Blue Moon

Tonight’s view of the blue moon rising over Lake Draper

I got to ride my old bike tonight on my favorite run around Draper Lake, thanks to a generous friend!  I forgot how much I loved my evening rides in the summer, from wildlife sightings to the varying temperature currents and fragrances that one can really only experience on a motorcycle.  Tonight I had a special treat – in my rearview mirror I could see the fading remnants of a brilliant pink sunset, and in front of me was the reflective yellow ribbon leading to a bright “blue” moon rising over the lake.

SHOUT fight cancer pose

The SHOUT girls that made it to my farewell party. We took some fun pictures, including this “fight cancer” pose – cancer doesn’t stand a chance against these gals!

These past few months as we prepare to go to Africa have been bittersweet and filled with moments we treasure as the “last” we’ll have in quite a while.  Especially in this last month, I’ve felt in a flurry to say goodbye to family and friends I won’t see again for a long time, or for some, not until we meet again on the other side.  Last night I celebrated what is probably my last meeting with my good friends from SHOUT – young women who have heroically battled cancer in the middle of juggling careers and young families.  We talked about how we’ve changed since our diagnosis, and nearly all will say cancer was in some ways a blessing…it forced us to examine our lives to see what really matters and taught us to cherish the time we have together, to make the best of every moment.  A message we commonly share with others is the importance “not to sweat the small stuff” and to “take time to smell the roses.”

I think that’s part of why I loved to ride so much.  For just a little while, time stood still and I was alone with my thoughts.  I became a philosopher, an explorer, and a mental journalist.  In fact I would have been a much more prolific blogger if I could have somehow recorded the deep musings on my journeys!  But most importantly, it was a time I could be thoroughly engaged in the moment and completely experience the joy of life.  I loved the rumble of the engine, the wind on my face, and as tonight, the incredible fragrances that shifted from musky woodlands to sweet meadows to earthy fresh-tilled soil.

Tonight I realized how much smell is integrated into my experiences, and is one of the many mental snapshots I’m taking as I say farewell to America.  A couple of months ago I was back in the Ozarks, and took deep nostalgic whiffs of the oak woods I spent so much time in camping and hiking.  When we were in the mountains last week, I stopped to take in the crisp morning air saturated with the smell of pine and listen to the haunting whisper as the wind blew through the treetops.  The banks of the creek were fresh and earthy as the water rushing over the rocks sang to me.  I passed through a meadow filled with beautiful purple mountain lupines with an intoxicating fragrance backlit by the brilliant white glaciers of Mt. Rainier.  I feel my life is so much richer for these experiences.

Whoever first said to take time to smell the roses was so wise.  This requires us to break from the hustle and bustle long enough to not only notice beauty, but to also step a little closer to explore and take a deep breath to soak in everything that moment has to offer.  It’s amazing how peaceful and content one can feel after just a simple pause.  So take a reminder from my survivor friends, and be sure to pause for a moment to experience life to its fullest!

Riley smelling flowers

Riley demonstrating this important life skill of living in the moment!

2 Responses to Take time to smell the roses

  1. Jan Cosgrove

    I just love to read your blogging Sandi and look forward to hearing about your experiences in Kenya. Too often people don’t take the time to write what they feel and your descriptions make me feel like I am there with you sharing.So many prayers for you on your journey to Kenya. It is truly a life altering experience. Kenya will always be a part of you, you will find. You can physically leave Kenya , but Kenya will never leave you. Blessings.

  2. Sandi

    Thank you Jan! I can’t wait to see what new experiences Kenya will hold. I’m also really glad to know I have at least one person reading my posts! 🙂

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