personal, travel

Stop and Smell the Roses

photo roses

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

For the 4th of July, I visited some friends in Portland, Oregon. It was my first visit to the area, and I enjoyed it very much. I figured it would be a “cool” place like Seattle to the north, funky people, hipster vibe, organic and natural, you get the picture. I was not disappointed – great food, wine, interesting mix of old and new. If you are from Portland and don’t like being compared to Seattle, I apologize and do not mean any offense. I am sure if I spent proper time in both cities I would see meaningful differences, but I have only been an occasional visitor.

One thing you may not know is that Portland is called the City of Roses. (I always wondered why the arena was called the Rose Garden.) They take great pride in their roses, and I was lucky enough to visit a Rose Garden in Washington Park, home also to an amazing Japanese Garden.

While there, I actually stopped to smell the roses, as noted in the picture. As I did that more and more, it got me thinking…to slow down my pace, look more closely at each rose, try to describe the different scents. My patience paid off, as I began to appreciate the roses much more than if I just whizzed by each row of plantings.

I have always noticed this to be true in settings like this – art museums, historical museums, gardens, monuments. I wish I could do more of this in “everyday” settings, like our home or work environments. Could you imagine if we all took a moment before a meeting to just observe our environment, find out something about those who surround us, take a moment to see if we can tell how they are feeling or what might be motivating them? I hope my latest visit to the rose gardens helps me do so.

By the way, I know I was paying more attention, but I seriously doubt I have smelled so many amazing roses as I did in the Portland Rose Garden. Among many other reasons to really enjoy this fair city, the roses sure were sweet. Well done Portland!


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