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.

Over time, specifically over the course of the past few years, the rose, (not the Liberty Bell,)  has become my symbol for freedom, and today, I sing this sweet song, an ode to the rose … Here is a photo of the last rose whose magical scent filled my being here and changed my mood, lifted me up to smile at the sun like its very own exquisite face, blossoming and spreading an effortless euphoria to every part of my brain, enlivening it, waking it up, refreshing it with the purest, most potent, most enveloping scent. The roses here were some of my sweetest companions …

Bless all of you who love The City of Tough Brotherly Love, aka, Philadelphia, and I will miss my friends and family, but here is my long, hard-won, earnest and sweetest goodbye.

I have done my time, paid the tithes, learned the lessons, healed the wounds, closed the circles, climbed that mountain, made it to the wardrobe door, and passed into an entirely new dimension …


Today, I am beyond grateful to say that


Free at last, free at last

I thank God I’m free at last

Free at last, free at last

I thank God I’m free at last

Way down yonder in the graveyard walk

I thank God I’m free at last

Me and my Jesus going to meet and talk

I thank God I’m free at last

On my knees when the light pass’d by

I thank God I’m free at last

Tho’t my soul would rise and fly

I thank God I’m free at last

Some of these mornings, bright and fair

I thank God I’m free at last

Goin’ meet King Jesus in the air

I thank God I’m free at last!

Today is indeed a very poignant and powerful day, everyone. Today is a defining moment in my life, but no more important than anyone else’s, as we are all one. I thank you for sharing it with me, a snippet of this human experience … we are all citizens of the planet, here to help one another make sense of it all and transcend it, bringing others—beloved animals, trees, flowers, MOTHER Earth to a revered, respected and cherished place where we acknowledge and go beyond- feeling awe for the privilege of being alive to be our best selves, our most generous and compassionate selves to effect change, embrace the shadow to find the light and truly evolve …

How ironic that I discovered the path to true freedom in a city that made me feel utterly incarcerated– the home of the “Liberty” Bell …

I can still smell the sweetness of that last rose, but as for the thorns? They are no more.

I have signed my very own declaration of independence!

Goodbye, Philadelphia, Goodbye.

And in the words of dear Mr. Franklin, “He that can have patience, can have what he will.”

Let Freedom Ring!




5 Responses to “Liberty Bell, Goodbye.”

May I just say… Welcome home!

June 14th, 2012

Dearest Kristi,
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
With so much love your way …

June 19th, 2012

Jennifer,so happy for you!

“Did ye ever know a lover of great books that after all his first editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them?”

I am so happy the book is opened and the pages are turning. As each new page is written, so many continue to benefit from your work. What a blessing. This is freedom! Thank You.

Respectfully Yours,


Gerry Hess
August 21st, 2012

My Dear Jennifer:

I wish you well my dear, you are truly a beautiful and talented soul.
My best to you. Joan. I did leave that city of “brotherly love” 18 years ago.

Joan Talarico Hunt
September 25th, 2012

Hey Jennifer, I truely gald I met you when I did. All the best with your endeavour.God Bless.

Gale Blackman
October 30th, 2012