You know the expression, “stop and smell the roses?” I don’t tend roses anymore, except for the hardy stress-free climbers. Hybrid tea roses are too persnickety to feel at home in my wild and crazy chemical free garden. I’m waiting for botanists to create disease resistant roses that still retain their distinctive spicy sweet fragrance. Nevertheless, in the meantime, I have plenty of other flowers that show off just fine their mingled perfumes.

“Stop and smell the roses” for me is an injunction to count my blessings right in front of me. So, today, I’m grateful for lupus. That’s right. You heard me! Because of lupus, I take a chemo treatment every Sunday evening that leaves me pretty useless on Mondays, kind of like my favorite Raggedy Anne doll I loved on as a child, limp and listless. I’m forced to “do” nothing on Mondays, a hard concept for a goal oriented, check-things-off-my-list kind of gal that I am!

Mondays have taught me to sit on my back porch and enjoy the verdant splendor, resisting the urge to make the proverbial “to do” list concerning the very same garden in which I’m luxuriating. So, I stop and smell.

I smell the pollen and dust infused pillow on which I’m resting my dizzy head, grateful for the hodgepodge back-porch furniture that welcomes visitors to sit and rest a spell.

I smell the damp dirt after a soft morning shower, grateful for the dependable home that I’m not forced to evacuate and leave.

I smell the appetizing fajita smoke wafting over the fence and I’m grateful for my eclectic neighborhood community.

I smell humidity in the still air, fore-telling a repeat rain shower to come, and I’m grateful for the promise blossoming in each of my five grandchildren. I smilingly concentrate on each’s potential, basking in the prayers for their prolific futures.

So yes, I’m grateful for lupus which once a week forces on me a hiatus from the world’s cares, a time to “stop and smell the roses.”

What blessings have you “smelled” today?

And make it into incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground, and pure and sacred.

Exodus 30:35