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Taking Time to Smell the Roses

by | Jul 21, 2020 | 2020, Blog, Newspaper Column, View All Services

Colorful bouquet of flowers

A peer from another part of the state told us she had resigned her job recently. With a little smile she told us she made her decision because of a moose. She came upon a moose and they looked each other in the eye for a little bit and then the moose sauntered off. The moose reminded her that she needed to take time to smell the roses, or in this case, to ponder a moose. For her, that means leaving the job she is in and finding one that brings her joy and time to see what is around her.

Woman holding a bouquet of colorful flowersI took a walk down the road I live on the other day. It was raining, but I just had to get outside and away from the laptop and clear my head. Just down the road I caught sight of a deer poking her head up from the swamp grasses. We looked at each other for a few minutes before she decided she had best be on her way.

As I think about this deer, the deer reminds me that she lives here too. She has always lived near me. She calls the woods behind my house her home, I just never notice her. She comes and goes quietly and without fanfare, really hoping I won’t notice. But I want to notice her. I want to open my eyes and really see what is around me.

I would like to think I am a person who is always aware of my surroundings. But this spring has heightened my awareness. I am paying attention to details around me. I am stopping to listen to the bird songs, to distinguish the heron’s call from the crow, to hear the cat bird’s greeting in the morning. The birds have always been there. They have always sung their little hearts out, but I have been too busy to notice. I have been on my way somewhere, or just returning from somewhere. Working from my porch each day is making me more aware the creatures living in my neighborhood.

I’ll expand my thinking to people. My awareness of others. My ability to see but not see, hear but not hear. I see someone having difficulty getting a grocery item from the top shelf. I am a tall person. Do I offer to help them? Or do I leave them to figure it out on their own? Or make them ask for help? I could say it is none of my business. Or I could make it my business to notice their need and help.

When I hear tears in someone’s voice, do I stop and ask if there is some way I can help? Or do I choose to not hear that tearful voice and go on my merry way?

It is so much easier to keep my head down and keep doing whatever I am doing. I can become focused and more interested in my To Do list than in the people around me. While I know it is important to get things done, it is also important for me to see, to listen, and to help with the needs of others around me.

This is what I see happening in our community right now. We are paying attention to each other. We are noticing those who need help getting their groceries. We are masking to protect each other. We are coming up with creative solutions to keep our community a great place to live.

The River Center is a family and community resource center. We are here to support you, your family or your neighbor and to connect you with resources in our community. Please contact us at 924-6800 or

I hope you can take time to notice those around you. And smell the roses.

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