At times throughout my previous blog posts I have mentioned quotes I find inspirational. It’s funny in a way, because I don’t consider myself to be a “quoty” person – someone who seeks out such short, pithy statements as a means to inspire their life. But somehow quotes seem to have a way of finding me whether I’m looking for them or not.
One of my favourite quotes is this:
What Hans Christian Anderson really meant by these words could be debated. You could think he means these things literally or you could think he means these things metaphorically. For me, I think it’s a little of both.
Scientists will expound on the virtues of sunshine in safe proportions. From it we obtain vitamin D, an important compound that regulates our absorption of calcium and phosphorous that helps keep our bones strong. It facilitates normal immune system function. It also fights disease, reduces depression and boosts weight loss. That’s quite a list. But perhaps what Anderson meant was that we all need something warm in our life – be it people or family or love – or even a good book!
Freedom is strange. It’s something we take completely for granted until such time as we don’t have it any more. Suddenly we miss its absence with a sharp intensity, thinking back to better days when freedom was our silent friend. We have some experience of this in our family as we support our son through the pleasures and pitfalls of autism. We have chosen to do our utmost for him but as a result we have not had much time off. In fact we recently had off only our fifth overnight stay in eighteen and a half years – or as I calculated, approximately 6,750 days. I think Anderson is right in his assertion that we need freedom – but what that looks like for me is not the same as what it will look like for you. Whatever the case, treasure it while you have it. It really helps you to not just live but to flourish.
Lastly, we come to the little flower. Personally, I love to be given flowers, but again I don’t think this is what Anderson meant. I think he’s talking about something that is simple and yet complex. Something that is beautiful and special. Something that can be given and received. And again, this will be different for all of us. What is your “flower”? That thing that makes your face light up, that you can share with others so that it brightens their day? Something that gives you pure but simple joy?
For me, I think my life consists of lots of different flowers, including friends and family. However, one of the key delights has to be writing. Even the sort of business writing I do these days, where I’m writing about ropes or finances or sales or interior design or health and safety, makes me feel happy in the same way a flower might bring delight.
What about you? What’s your flower?
If you don’t know, now might be a good time to stop and smell the roses.
Coming soon. . .