People always like to say cute things like 'Stop and smell the roses' and 'Enjoy the little things'. Honestly though how often do any of us stop and appreciate anything? I mean most people on a daily basis have trouble appreciating the big things like being alive, being healthy, having a steady income. Who takes the time to appreciate the small things like flowers, or rainbows, or a perfectly buttered piece of toast?
Normally it takes some major tragedy or upset to make you stop and take stock in your life and appreciate what you do have. It is not always something personal mind you. It easily could be a local natural disaster or your next-cube-neighbor at work losing their mother, or your friend losing their job again. Moments like these make you stop and appreciate the fact that you still have a home, a mother, a job, or any other large essential part of your life.
Still these are not little things.
These are not the roses you should be smelling. These are important things, but our lives are not made up of giant things alone. Yes we have all the big stuff, but between the big stuff is an almost infinite amount of space that we fill with small things. These small things are so very important as they tend to cushion the big things, and heaven forfend that you should lose a big thing, the little things help to fill that gap.
So with that in mind, I would like to appreciate at least one little thing:
When I was about 20 I developed an allergy to fresh fruit. This was horrific to me. I like fruit. I like fruit a lot. Suddenly I couldn't eat any of it. Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, you name it, I couldn't eat it. Every time I would try over the next 10 years I would result in a mouth full of hives (and believe you me, there are fewer things in this world more uncomfortable than hives under your tongue).
It was a sad state of affairs, but one I came to live with. I accepted I would never bite into a juicy crisp apple ever again. Then someone suggested I try organic fruit.
Well the general fact that I could eat processed fruits led them to believe I was not allergic to the fruit but instead tot he chemicals and pesticides used in growing and preparing fruit for market. It made logical sense and I batted around the idea for several years. I was still hesitant to try because should the theory be wrong, I was the one who would end up with hives in my mouth again.
Finally I got brave (or stupid) and bought an organic apple. I sliced it up with some lovely gouda and a nice spinach salad and sat down to try my luck. I held the slice before me and pondered how good an idea this really was. The memory of the painful itchy swollen gums made me hesitate.
Then it hit me; subtle sweet clean earthy smell of the apple. Long forgotten memories of cool fall days sitting on my grandmothers porch and enjoying an apple after school flooded into my mind. The memory of the sweet tangy taste filling my mouth as I crunched into the perfect red skin and into the firm white flesh of the apple. I could almost feel the juices escaping and rolling down my chin.
All thoughts of hives and bad ideas were pushed aside and before I knew it I was thoughtfully chewing on the slice of apple. It was not as I remembered. The flesh of this apple was a little mealy (probably because it is so incredibly not apple season). It was neither very sweet nor tart at all but it had a good apple flavor to it. It was all in all what a normal apple eater would consider an average, if not a little below average apple. To me though it was nothing short of brilliant for one reason alone. No hives.
That's right, I ate an apple and had no adverse reaction.
So yes it is a little thing. It is just an apple (and not even the world changing fruit of knowledge sort of apple).
To me though it is so much more. It is something that I appreciate. It is my rose that I have stopped to smell.
Have you smelled your roses today?