Of all the life advice I’ve ever been given or heard, the only one I’ve ever faithfully followed is the admonishment to stop and smell the roses.

I did that last when I was visiting the museum garden at the university of Bergen earlier this month, even thinking to myself, “Roses. Stop and smell.”

When I was a very little girl and still living in Los Angeles, my maternal grandparents had a rose garden at their house in San Pedro. Dark earth covered a triangle bed bordered by fence, garage wall and garden pathway. Several large rose bushes with different colors and levels of scent filled the space.

I loved my grandparents’ rose garden. Many years later I saw that it had been replaced by swingsets and seesaws; the owners had children. I remember feeling sad that the children would not get to enjoy the beautiful sight and scent of roses. The parents were perhaps afraid the children would hurt themselves on the thorns. I thought that that would be an excellent thing to learn for children; I can’t remember being stuck by thorns, so I must have learned early.

I also learned to look before I sniff since I once surprised a spider in the middle of a large blossom.

The genes for scent seem to be linked both to color and to thorns, so the darker and thornier the rose, the more fragrance. And so dark red roses are a favorite of mine, for olfactory reasons, not romantic ones.

Here’s an ASCII rose for you: –,–‘–@

The Daily Prompt: Fragrance