Sadly, the phrase “stop to smell the roses” is one that is too often ignored. Especially in modern times when our cellphones receive most of our attention while walking from destination to destination, in our busy lives we forget to take in moments that could potentially open our eyes or leave impressions on our hearts. When we do experience these moments, they’re nothing short of magical.
I recently had an amazing experience in my hometown. My sister was home for the weekend and the two of us along with my parents went out and enjoyed a delicious dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. When the meal was finished, we ventured down the street to where we had parked. On the way, a shop, one I had never noticed before, caught my attention rather suddenly due to its overpoweringly colorful ambiance. I blinked twice before realizing what I was seeing. In the windows dozens of perfectly painted flowers filled up huge canvasses, hanging by chains from the ceiling or perched delicately on easels facing outward. The flowers, from tall delphiniums with silvery stems to golden daffodils appearing to be floating in the breeze, engulfed the canvasses and caused the eye to travel over each piece in its entirety. Each painting was framed in a rich, elaborate frame chosen carefully to enhance the best qualities of each individual work of art.
I was mind-blown. I had lived here my entire life and I was just now discovering this small piece of heaven? I couldn’t understand how I could have possibly missed it. But it then hit me. I hadn’t even been looking. I hadn’t sought it out and it was right there this whole time. Upon going inside, I discovered it was an art store, selling a range of things from enormous carved frames to small greeting cards with hand drawn illustrations done by local and/or semi-famous nationally known artists. It was truly amazing discovering this hidden gem.
If there is one thing I have learned, it’s to open my eyes. Stop and smell the roses, look up from your cellphones, leave the confines of your house to explore places that may just be right under your noses. You never know what treasures you will find!