Posted by: Panamá Jeff | July 28, 2009

Taking Time To Smell The Roses

Embera kids making funny faces during class.

Embera kids making funny faces during class.

Today I was driving home from work when I noticed a car full of kids in front of me making  funny faces and gestures, sticking out their tongues at a cab driver who was also in front of me. I couldn’t really see the cab driver’s reaction, if any, I assume he didn’t even notice the kids and made his turn off the road. Since I knew what to expect, the minute I pulled up next to them and rolled down my window they started giving me the business, I immediately returned the favor making as many funny faces as possible. In the interim of all this foolish nonsense I almost ran into the car in front of me! I have to slow down considerably which gives me yet another chance to engage in more childish acts before we go our separate ways. I giggled and smiled for quite some time as I continued driving home. Ever wonder how phrases and sayings or even clichés become so popular? That’s because there is some truth to them, which is why people continue to say them year after year. Taking time to smell the roses. This of course can be meant literally as well as figuratively. It sounds corny because you hear it all the time yet you allow it go in one ear and out of the other without putting a little bit of thought into it. Keep an open mind, try to see what so many others have been saying for so long, and more importantly, why!? My interpretation:  Slow down. For instance, take driving home from work in traffic for example. If you slowed down and quit worrying  about jocking for position to get 40 feet ahead of the person next to you, you could focus on something that just might make your drive home rewarding. You might see something you have never seen before, on a drive you have completed hundreds of times.  Quit worrying about what you know to be true and try to find something different and new in every thing.

Boy_PeeingUPDATE, The Very Next Day:  Ok so I am driving home again, and in Panama you can purchase pretty much anything while sitting at a red light, and I do mean anything.  There are also young men and boys who will clean your windshield for you while waiting for the light to change.  There is one specific intersection that has boys cleaning windshields almost everyday. As I was passing this intersection on the way home, as I do every work day, I noticed a young boy standing in the middle of the median that separates the road peeing in broad daylight. At first I thought maybe it was some sort of joke and maybe he was just pretending to urinate in the middle of traffic, but nope, he was shamelessly peeing his little heart out, squirting his stream as far and high as he could! I told you you could see something you have never seen before if you just pay attention.

“We think of life as an inexhaustible well, yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty? And yet it all seems limitless.”



  1. I love that picture Jeff! The extra smiley naked boy is so cute, he reminds me of my Smiley Riley! I think kids and people with a capricious nature bring on those ‘smell the roses’ moments more because of their ability to see things in a more whimsical, fleeting way. I could stare at my kids all day long with a huge smile on my face… just as I love being around people who can make me laugh, or strive to see the beauty in the world! 🙂

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