When I was working at the magazine I made an 8 mile - 45 minute - drive to and from the office each day. I used to see a lot of things on that drive- I made it a point, actually, to be acutely aware of what was going on around me. I decided that if I was going to have to make this drive, I was at least going to people watch. One afternoon, while stopped at the light at Wilshire and Highland I glanced over to my left and caught a glimpse of a man in a black suit with a briefcase walking with a bit of a pep in his step that I wasn't used to seeing in anyone at 5:15 pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday- hell, barely even on Fridays. He floated by a rose bush in full bloom- took about 2 steps past it and stopped dead in his tracks. He retreated, placed his briefcase on the ground, leaned over to the left and gently tugged a rose towards his nose and inhaled so deeply I could almost see his chest filling up with air. He smiled, picked his briefcase up, shook his head and continued on his way. The light turned green and I started to drive away, chuckling to myself. That man, that business man- with a suit and briefcase, had literally just stopped to smell the roses. I suddenly became not only acutely aware of the people shuffling around me, but of myself. Have I ever done that? Ever? Sadly, the answer was no. At that moment I made a pact with myself- not only would I stop and smell a rose if I passed one, but I would stop and take in other things- let myself revel in beauty and wallow in misery alike. I kept this promise to myself on Monday- I pulled over on my way back from Bolinas to capture the image below. It really doesn't even do the real thing justice. I just leaned against my warm car and looked at it for a good 10 minutes. The sun was quickly disappearing and I knew that the drive back up to the 101 was not an easy one to make in the daylight, let alone the night, but there wasn't another person around for miles and someone had to enjoy the site. Thoughts raced through my brain like a wildfire but the one memory that came to the forefront of my mind is the day I saw a business man, with a briefcase, literally stop and smell the roses on his way home from work on Wilshire Blvd.
So, on my way home from work, I did too.