Stopping To Smell The Roses (originally written 22nd Jan 2016)

I could write you a thousand words about how this week was harder than most. I could tell you all the negative thoughts currently flowing through my mind. I could tell you that more than once this week I’ve thought about giving up, and I could tell you I lied when I said I’m fine. Or I could tell you about the drive home from this day, when home was no more than 100 metres away, I saw an old man stop and smell the flowers of a near by tree, and inside that moment, something stirred deep within me…

I was told once that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred. I feel only so much energy moving inside me, and I don’t wish to waste what energy I have focusing on the darker corners of my mind. I want to transfer that energy to the story of an old man who with one simple act, changed my mindset around. In that moment I saw so much of human nature, so much of myself, my friends, my family, my strangers, and my lovers. I saw (at least in my mind) the image of so many of us walking down that same quiet street with our heads buried in technology, our minds buried in ourselves, when was the last time we actually stopped to smell the roses? It’s been so long I’ve honestly forgotten what they even smell like. It’s almost depressing to think what should be such a simple act, in such a time, can reflect such beauty, but to focus on the positive means focusing on the beautiful things in this life, and that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen this week.

My mind continued to wander, I wanted to know more, I wanted to know his story, and slowly, I began to write it in my mind. I saw the story of a young man, working in a local shop for pocket money. Perhaps one day he met a beautiful girl, for one reason or another their paths crossed ever so briefly, and in that moment he caught a scent that made him weak at the knees. He never saw that girl again, their encounter was no more than a simple moment, but to this day it haunts him. How do you describe a smell outside of defining it as it is, and so his search began. He traversed the world in his years, exploring gardens on ever continent, trying to find the flower that scent belongs to. The years creep forward, hairs turn grey, and memories fade, but he can still so very perfectly remember that smell. As his bones stopped him from travelling further than the local supermarket, he made it his mission to walk a different path home every time, stopping to take in every foreign flower he saw, and this is where our paths crossed. Like before our moment was no more than a second, but in that second, I found inspiration, and I have to ask, was that the flower he had been searching for all these years?

I don’t know if it’s strange to take a lesson from a character you made up in your head, but I’m a pretty strange person…