Stop and Smell the Ginger

Getting a 12-year-old off to school at 7am, I wonder if I’ve represented all the food groups at breakfast. I simultaneously (and guiltily) cook mac and cheese on the stove to pack in his lunch and hope he eats it. I separate colors and whites, start a load of laundry before we leave. Remind Jeb that texting friends can happen after he’s washed his breakfast dishes, not before. I make the bed and create a mental checklist of the day’s to-do’s, while eyeballing Jeb’s school-ready progress out of the corner of my right eye. He’s fiddling with the dog. Clock says 7:32. We need to leave.

“Meet you in the car!” He’s heading downstairs, ready to go. I secure doors, grab phone, purse, sunglasses. Slip on flip-flops, and trot downstairs.

Sunlight illuminates a cluster of white ginger flowers. I pause. They drip with an early morning rain. I veer to the blooms, away from the waiting car. These choices, this moment, it is the stuff of what all of the Masters and poets speak.


If not now, when?

I stop and smell the ginger flowers.


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