The Gardener By Mary Oliver: Reading and Meditation

December 2, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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My mother loves her daily walks and hikes, and upon each flower bush we pass, she insists we “stop to smell the roses.” It’s a quirky and seemingly unimportant habit of hers that I’ve never paid much attention to besides the occasional eye-roll and beckon of “Let’s goooooo.” Long walks have been a habit she instilled in me to process life’s events both big and small, and recently I’ve found my mind burdened on my walks with deep existential questions about whether I’ve been doing enough. But on a recent walk, I passed a rose bush and with a begrudging smile stopped to smell the roses. 

When life becomes overwhelming, how do you pause? When you feel burdened by the pressures you put yourself under, what pulls you out allowing you to just enjoy? Who or what are your roses? 

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC 

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