At least once each week, I walk down our street and head downtown. Typically, I'm headed for the coffee shop. The sights and sounds of the communal space are refreshing to this extrovert who spends most of her work time alone. And they have good coffee - another excellent benefit.
As I walked downtown this week, I was noticing the smells. Oil and grease from the autobody shop as I walked past their open bay doors. Thick, musty wafts from an open dryer vent. Rotten trash, baking under the summer sun, put out too late for this week's garbage collection. The earthy damp of freshly cut grass. The intoxicating sweetness - like honeysuckle or lilacs - of the small white blossoms on shrubs encroaching on the sidewalk.
I hurried past the repulsive ones, not wanting to linger, eager to get beyond them. But I didn't slow to savor the sweeter ones. I didn't stop to simply drink in their scents. They surprised my senses as I kept moving along, already past their reach.
I can't help but feel there's a metaphor in this.
My prayer for us today is that we slow down to savor the sweet moments - the moments of joy and beauty and delight - that we don't only catch a whiff as we're hurrying on by. May these moments cause us to overflow in thanksgiving.