The other day on our daily walk, we noticed that our neighbor had just cut back her roses. These are the roses we stop to smell together every morning. Pink, red, white, yellow and — our favorite — mauve, which gives the most incredible scent.
Well, this morning there lay a pile of stems, flowers, petals, leaves. My son was sad, looking at this pile as he questioned why they were cut off. It’s not like he hasn’t seen this before, but at each stage of his life he sees it with a new set of eyes.
He asked me if we could take the cuttings home. I told him we couldn’t as they were old, wilted and falling apart. I kept walking onward. He did not. I turned to see what was happening. I must have been 100 meters ahead of him by then. I called out but he did not move. He was still squatting down looking at the pile. I called again. He stood up and held his hand high, holding a beautiful white, fully blossomed rose. He proudly ran up to me, sharing this slightly wilting rose.
“Mummy, this one is still really good, right?”
“Oh Yes”, I said, “very nice.”
He was adamant. “No, it’s beautiful and it still smells good”.
This was another one of those moments when my “Zen Master” has reminded me how so much beauty in this world goes unnoticed. It’s also a reminder of how society looks at aging. How so many of us are only concerned with how we look or judge others for how they look, especially as people age.
We spend so much time and energy worrying about aging — oh, the vanity of it all.
Let us be reminded that it is not the wrinkles and sagging skin that define our beauty, but what is on the inside. I looked at my 92-year-old uncle that evening and truly saw what a wonderful and beautiful being he was.
Have you taken a moment to smell the roses lately?
[tags]inner beauty, through child eyes, rose, cast aside, stop smell roses,[/tags]