Today’s post focuses on the senses being engaged in both a pleasing and unpleasing way. A prime example is the Stargazer Lily. I find them beautiful to look at, especially the ones that were recently gifted to me. They stayed folded within themselves for a couple of days before slowly starting to bloom out and reveal their big, beautiful white petals and center.
Carefully looking at all its contours, one could quite simply go into a reverie. Until, of course, the moment when met with its fragrance. How could such a beautiful flower emit such an odor? A heavy, waxy, funereal smell.
This got me to reflect on the idea that not all sensory experiences have to be pleasant. The very instant that I have been moved by a sensory trigger, whether pleasurable or otherwise, is something to be noted. Our senses take us on journeys not only to deliriously sensual escapes but also to nostalgic corners of our past, to faded memories and unfinished business. Our senses allow us to experience all of life, and use those experiences to learn more about ourselves and the world in which we live. It is through our senses that we learn which herbs and berries are poisonous, which animals to stay away from, and how to “feel” a storm that is approaching.
So I decided today to embrace the unappealing odor of the stargazer lily and remember that with every sniff, I can reflect in such a way that it becomes a teachable moment. Perhaps that smell is a cry to look more closely at the petals. To practice patience and stay open-minded about what could be next.