One part of the course leads me right up to a bush of climbing roses similar to the one in the pic. They hang off a mailbox and arc just over the curb and into the street and meet me about chest height.
Every time I run or walk this course, I must not be looking more than a few steps ahead of me because the red blooms seem to pop up in the blink of an eye. Do I really keep my eyes on the ground so much? Do I really have that kind of tunnel vision? Apparently so.
And every time that I have to shift my step slightly to the right to avoid the arc, I have to make the decision to either ignore the roses or stop and smell them.
The first time I stopped and pressed my nose into them, I felt slightly embarrassed that people might see me and slightly guilty for enjoying someone else's property, but I'm mostly beyond those feelings now and stop frequently for a second to follow the old dictum to "stop and smell the roses."
The act of taking that moment does have an effect on my state of mind. It's too bad flowers have to literally jump out at me like muggers to get my attention and appreciation.
In Indiana, we wait from late October until mid-May for just such a moment. There are many winter days that I spend marking off a mental calendar waiting for spring like it's my parole.
But when I'm "on task," running, sometimes the thing I've longed for gets ignored. The sweetness that I've been waiting for goes unappreciated.
The poignancy of the routine of deciding to stop or dodge the beautiful mundane is not lost on me. I try to draw it all in every time now, as if I'm banking it for winter.
There will come a day when I can no longer run, or walk or stop to smell the roses. Today is not that day.