52 Birds: Week 20

Learn: Stop to Smell the Roses

Most mornings as the bus pulls away with my daughter safely on her way to school, I meander through the yard. With birds chirping above and around me and maple leaves rustling in the breeze, I notice incremental changes as the flowers in their garden beds stretch closer toward the sun each warm spring day.

IMG_4473_croppedThis time of year, I eagerly watch the daily progress of buds in the garden: roses, peonies, dianthus. I marvel at how intricately the petals are swaddled atop their stems and imagine I can see a bud ever-so-slightly beginning to open right before my eyes. I look for ants working diligently on the round peony buds.

Grumbling over the rabbit-nibbled phlox and lilies, I breathe in the sweet smell of a delicate white rose in the front yard. I admire the bright pink flowers of the weigela, knowing the blossoms will soon whither and drop away. I dribble water onto flowers that need a drink and stoop to pull a weed or two. I consider which flower might work well in a bare spot and make note of which flower patches could use thinning.

At a recently transformed rock-patch-turned-flower-garden, I pause and wonder to myself: Will the phlox survive its new home? Will these lilies bloom this season, or will I have to wait until next year for them to flower? Taking one last glance around the yard before reluctantly entering the house to begin my day's work, I breathe deeply and feel the peace and calm of my morning meander, telling myself I can return to this moment in my mind throughout the day. And again tomorrow, when the bus drives off with my daughter safely aboard.


Not only did I stop to smell the roses and admire the blossoms the day I wrote this post, I also took time to take photos of our flowers and to practice my newfound aperture skills. Take a look at my More Aperture Practice set on Flickr if you'd like to see more shots from our spring garden. 

Do you have a regular ritual that helps remind you to slow down and appreciate what's around you? Share your practice in a comment here, or connect with me on twitter.