Over the course of the past 6 and a half years that I have lived in Philadelphia, (how and why that happened I may never know ..) I have not missed a single opportunity to stop and literally smell the roses. I would approach them and beckon them to me, cradle them gently in my hands and deeply inhale their scent with my entire being, a veritable world of intoxicating bliss that seemed to radically alter every cell in my body, in an instant. Each and every time, no matter what my mental state, my reality shifted dramatically, and I was transported.
Every now and again, I would be in too much of a rush to get to the nectar of the rose, and I would feel the wrath of the thorns on its stem, almost warning me to go slower, to savor the moment before I inhaled its transportive secret, almost as if to tell me that I needed to be more patient, more appreciative, more delicate. Even with the prick of the thorn, and the errant drop of bright red blood on my finger, I delighted in the reward, the almost unfathomable world of pleasure that I drowned in, and shockingly, all in that singular, tiny, divine unfolding of color and billowing, all encompassing profusion of scent. I would often think, “How was it possible that such a miracle- this potent and ethereal world of pleasure could exist in such a small blossom?”
Every rose is different, uniquely beautiful in its own way — the color and shape of its petals, and the subtlety of its special floral pheromones. Tea roses, American Beauty Roses, Crimson Queens, Midas Touch Roses, Sunflare Floribundas, Tropicanas, White Meidilands, too many to name. In the 4th Street Garden near my once-upon-a-time, magical little jewelry box of a home, there is a vast variety of beauties, just waiting to be inhaled and loved. They are everywhere, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who had a love for these gorgeous flowers and planted them strategically throughout the old part of town to frame the walkways as a respite from the din and bustle of the city.