Stop and Smell the Roses!

stop and smell the rosesWalking through the park one evening with my eleven-year-old son and our dog Piper, I had my chin buried into the warmth of the neck of my jacket cursing the unlike-spring weather, wishing I had worn a hat when my son called out to me from several paces behind.  “Mom, come take a look at this! It’s totally cool.”  Reluctant to walk back into the wind I replied in haste:  “What? Can’t I just see it on the way back? What is it? It’s freezing out here; I just want to walk Piper fast and get back home.”  I shouldn’t have expected this instance to be any different for my son in terms of passively accepting a “no” from me. He persisted by saying “Mom, this is really cool. You’ll want to see it.”

Too soon to be wearing running shoes on the park paths of St. Albert I slid my way over to where he was standing and in spite of Mother Nature’s recent drop in temperature I couldn’t help but be inspired by her beauty. A drain pipe from the botanic garden clubhouse evidently had some runoff from a recent rain where the water from it froze in midstream and adhered to the side of a chain link fence. This matrix of frozen particles extended out from the spout of the drain, hung in mid air a short distance then sprawled down along side the length of the fence then found companionship with the frozen ground. The outdoor censor light from the clubhouse that was adjacent to the drain pipe shone upon the icy sculpture giving it an iridescent sheen as if it were a featured piece in an art gallery. My son was right: totally cool!

It was one of those clichéd “living in the moment” kinds of moments. Where you stand focused on taking in the joy that something so rare brings to you. I no longer felt the wind or was aware of how cold I was. I can’t even remember how long we stood there looking and chatting about how awesome this was and that we should have brought the camera.

The rest of the walk was much more tolerable for having accepted nature’s gift. Even amidst the bleakest day, there’s something to be grateful for.

Five reminders to “stop and smell the roses” along the way:

  1. Take a walk or a run and “see” your surroundings; notice the beauty in nature
  2. Say a random “thank you” to someone everyday – your spouse for making dinner, your colleague for helping you out, your kid for just being your kid, your mom on your birthday – you get the idea
  3. Keep a “gratitude journal” and make a list every night of 5 things you were grateful for that day. Staying grateful makes what we lack seem not so bad
  4. Listen! When people talk clear your mind of your own thoughts and really listen
  5. Let a child guide you. Children rarely let a moment of falling leaves, floating bubbles or dandelion fluffs go by without notice!

Dyan Eybergen is the author of Out of the Mouths of Babes: Parenting from a Child’s Perspective. Dyan is a paediatric psychiatric nurse, has more than ten years experience working as a therapist and parent educator. Dyan and her family were guests on the cable television show “For Kids Sake”, along with parenting expert Barbara Coloroso. Eybergen resides in St. Albert, Alberta, with her husband and three sons.

[note color=”#a0ce94″]Wondering how to find extra hours in the day to find time to smell the roses?  Gain extra time by reading or listening to Creating Hours:  Tips and Advice for Creating Extra Time for Parents![/note]




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  1. What a timely article; thank you! Life is such a big rush… I really need this!!

  2. Just read the article before going for a walk this morning, and was grateful to find on my return that my Caranga(?)tree was starting to bud, which I thought I had lost last year to bug infestatiion. A simple thank you to the one that gives us all made me realize how much we have to be thankful for, if only the sight of buds on a tree telling us that spring is here, and with that comes new growth and hope. On my walk I noticed the tulips are starting to show, and the grass ‘what my daughter calls’ is “baby green” Smelling the roses should be part of everyday living.

  3. Great.I am sharing right away!! I have son many things to be grateful (should it be GREATFUL :)) for!! Like finding this article!!

  4. Jo-Anne Layton says:

    Well-written ‘treatise’ Dyan. I know of these magical moments … all too rare in today’s rush of life. I still remember a number of those moments from my childhood … a gorgeous wild patch of orange tiger lilies being especially beautiful for me in a moment of tearful sadness; a star-filled night sky observed while I was lying in an expanse of unmarred fluffy white snow where I had been busily creating a snow-angel by flapping my ‘wings’ and others.

    I tried to capture these moments for-with my daughter as she was growing up – a very large photo collection, to be certain!

    Anyway, a Rose for you, also! (image of a pale pink-yellow rose sent via e-mail as I’m too tired to investigate the Gravatar thing, and I’m not terribly computer savvy, sorry). Jo

  5. Being mindfull of the moment and nothing else at times is essential with children. Thank God i have discovered this or my kids would’ve clobbered me years ago! I never read the book “The Hurried Child” but i believe in our day and age, the onslaught of media and technology, images and advertising everywhere and our very busy lives cause us to hurry and not enjoy the moment and cause us to hurry our children, when they need to have a childhood. Had I not grown up in the country and been surrounded by nature who knows how I would have ended up because most of my peers got into drugs and alcohol by the time they were 15-16. I believe there are many times that God goves us these moments, we just have to slow down and appreciate them. Even humor has it’s place within our daily lives and our families. We need to simplify our lives. Here is my favorite site: that not only had an article on this subject, being in the moment, but also has excellent advice for living. I hope you are all in the best of health and faith/high spirits.