Get up and smell the Confederate Jasmine

Earlier this spring my husband, Tom, posted the statement “Get up and smell the Confederate Jasmine” on the refrigerator.

This is how it came about. We were out for our usual morning run with our dog, Iggy. Part of our run typically includes the path next to Pierce Park pool, following it behind the pavilion and then behind the townhomes that line Pierce Street along the marsh. As we were running along the fence, the smell of the Confederate Jasmine was absolutely overwhelming and rejuvenating. We both commented on how wonderful it smelled. You can experience this sweet fragrance in neighborhoods, parks, and business locations all around the island.

We retraced the same path on our way back to the house and again, the smell was overpowering and Tom made his statement “Get up and smell the Confederate Jasmine,” followed by, “now that’s a great piece of refrigerator wisdom.” He did not elaborate, which is indeed the point of posting the notes on the fridge. The note absolutely requires whoever reads it to think about it. Let it percolate. Let it spark discussion.

We didn’t stop and smell the Confederate Jasmine, as the much more famous statement to “Stop and smell the roses” suggests. The reasons for not stopping were practical. First, we were on a run; and, second, the smell was so strong that it permeated the length of the fence – so we didn’t have to stop to engage our senses and enjoy the aroma.

In contemplating Tom’s wisdom, it made me think about the importance of getting up and getting going.

This indeed was not, “Stop and smell the roses” wisdom. The “Stop and smell the roses” admonishment is all about slowing down and enjoying each moment. Which is very important.

But the “get up” half of the instruction is about not wasting life. As opposed to hitting the snooze button, staying in bed, and then not exercising at all. Do get up and do go for a run. Do get up and do finish that project you’ve always wanted to complete. Do get up and do spend time with your loved ones. Do get up and do write that book.

And the “smell the Confederate Jasmine” half is about observing with all our senses. A more direct way of saying it is, “do something and you will experience something.” But I prefer Tom’s poetic and Lowcountry specific prose.

When I asked Tom what he meant by it, he explained his thinking, “Confederate Jasmine doesn’t bloom all year. It’s fleeting. Appreciate your surroundings. Get out and experience what our community has to offer.”

I’m still contemplating the other two notes he wrote that morning, “Sometimes, even when you are right, you are wrong” and “Sometimes the truth is best not spoken.”

He is really getting into contributing to the refrigerator wisdom in our home! I’d say he is getting carried away, except I’m always in need of more wisdom.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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