Active Participant

Ever stop to smell the roses?

This phrase, unfortunately, has lost a lot of the magic it once had; it has become a Hallmark card, the lesson learned by a forty-something construction worker after a 90 minute after-school special. This doesn’t make it any less true or important – but it has certainly lost some of its punch.

So I have a new idea.

If we liken roses to those things in life that we enjoy, those things which are good, then the concept embodied by it only takes the idea part of the way. What about the time spent away from the roses? The hard, sad, and indifferent times? Few of us have the luxury of cultivating rose gardens. Should we pull back from life when it becomes hard?

I was discussing this with my brother the other day- he’s going to be making some difficult choices in the near future. It is easy to avoid making choices; you can let life make them for you. But in allowing things to happen – you are no longer driving – you are a passenger. For me, it is important that I be an active participant in my life – all of it. It’s not just the roses that are precious, but the thorns that draw blood and remind of how fragile life is. It is the soil we tend and the act of nurturing it so that good things come.

It is about being in front when we do things. There is a distinction between doing things and experiencing them. An obvious example is the way we tune out when driving to and from work; it is automatic, a motion we are going through. Now imagine this state pervading your whole life, without you realizing it. This is the state most of us are in, until something, amazing wonderful or devastatingly bad, wakes us up.

I want to experience life, not just pass through it. I want to be an active participant in my life.

2 thoughts on “Active Participant”

  1. Just taking the time to smell your roses. I finally get the chance to read this uninterrupted… I am enjoying your ponderings, and loving your “fiction”.

    Lots of love,

  2. The fine zen art of being in the present moment. Now. Here. So tangible and yet elusive.

    The times without the scent of roses is what makes them so lovely to behold. If I was surrounded by them constantly their smell would be overpowering and not descernable after a short time. Blah.

    Life is meant to be chiaroscuro. Without the darkness, what is light? Without the light, what is darkness?

    The extremes keep us awake and alive.

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