Yep, you read that right. Milkweed. Not roses, milkweed. Did you know that milkweed, when it blooms, actually has a really pretty smell? I didn't, not until a few days ago. That fact amazed me. Partly because it really is a good smell. But mostly because I've known what milkweed was since I was a kid. I've been around it for decades. But I had never gone up to a milkweed plant in bloom and taken a sniff.
Boy, have I been missing out! No wonder monarch butterflies love that stuff. I think next time I find some that has flowered, I will pick it, bring it into the house, and put it into a vase so my home can smell lovely. Really, it smells that good!
The last few weeks have been busy at this little place here, but I've also been away from home more than I have been in probably the last five years combined. During my time away, I've had alot of 'down time', alot of contemplation time, and alot of playing time. Playing time is not something that comes naturally to me. I'm a person who sees endless lists of what needs to be done, what should be done, what nobody else is doing that I feel I therefore should do. . .
Being a mother of four, most of my adult life has been spent in high gear, fighting figurative fires and averting crises made by other people. I yearned for slow and steady wins the race, but instead, have mostly jack-rabbited from one thing to another, then crashed in exhaustion. When barely recharged, just enough to drag myself back to my feet , I jack-rabbit around again to repeat the cycle. However, with DD1's graduation, open house, and softball tournaments behind us, DH and I finally took some time for play. We went away. Far, far away. Not on business, not on kid-related sports or college travel, in fact not to any relative at all. For three whole days, it was just he and I and no responsibilities other than feeding ourselves, if we felt like eating.
The first day, I felt like a hedon. A bad mother. A horrible, selfish person. The second day, I actually caught myself looking out a window and not thinking. This was a novel thing, to catch myself not thinking. My brain always seems to have twenty different things going on, many thoughts jumbling and vying for my attention. Many "should do's" and "don't forget to's" and "have to make sure's". To just have mental quiet, what an experience! It was enlightening.
The third day, I started to notice more little things. Being away from home and kids, garden and animals, work and bills, my eyes were opened, my brain was calm, my first reaction to everything wasn't negative or dread. I realized I was open to possibilities, and not as limited as I've always assumed I was.
I'm learning to slow down, to not run all the time, to stop and smell the milkweed. Life is spread out before me, welcoming me rather than shoving me from behind into places I'm not always sure I want to go.
I highly recommend everyone takes a minute to get out of their normal everyday routine, and find some milkweed. It's eye opening.