This rose, though technically in someone's yard, danced over the fence with such freedom and tenacity that it seemed wrong not to turn it's face to look at mine and to touch it's velvety petals. I took in it's scent, immediately wishing I could bottle it, all of it...the spicy sweet rose, the earth, the musty leaves, the chimney smoke, and call it "the most"; a perfume I could wear to remind me of the importance of the moment.
For a time, as I moved from my meditation, there was a sense of urgency, of vigilance, the same type a new mother feels when she makes eye contact with her infant and sees the face of a teen-ager. For a time I was able to tune in, to listen intently, to feel each tiny branch as it snapped beneath my feet. I made it a point to touch the roses, even the ones that might seem out of reach on someone else's property. I took in the scents all around me and felt intense gratitude.
Eventually, the rose died. The fallen leaves became brittle, and my bare feet became imprisoned by shoes. The air grew icy, the snow fell. More snow, and still more fell. I found myself restless and a little bit edgy, longing for the heady smells of the earth.
The wind howls, and somewhere in my warm house, an old window rattles in its casing. I take in the silence of my sleeping family in contrast to the winds. I inhale deeply, the smell of morning coffee warming me. Glancing out the east window behind me, I allow the muted colors of a winter sunrise to impress the parts of me that long to run barefoot in the grass. I await the light show I know is coming next, the one that only happens early in the morning in these bitter winter months. I breathe deeply as golden light laughs across the barren trees and casts a glow over the snow covered forsythia. I inhale the sweet intensity of right now as a thousand diamonds leap on the edges of brittle branches, a wild dance of perseverance, of now; a poignant reminder to make the most of the moment.