In New Age thinking we are either in struggle or flow.  It’s easy to tell when we are in each of these states, but quite how the shift occurs from one to the other is a much more difficult matter.


Yesterday I had an unexpected free day and decided to take some time in the morning to decide what I really wanted to do with the day.  First, I spent a little time on housework (which seems to become increasingly satisfying as I grow older), then I wrote a complaint letter that I really wanted to write!  But what was absolutely at the top of my list of priorities was to go to a rose garden. All week, when travelling around London I’ve been noticing roses… erupting over garden walls and hedges, climbing up walls and clinging to trees. I’ve been too busy to stop and stare and inhale the perfume. A full diary of work, night and social life and a sense of time and season rushing by, like the view from a fast train.


The best rose garden in London has to be in Hyde Park.  Here I spent an increasingly blissful two hours wandering in circles and figures of eight round every path, walking through each trellised walkway, stopping at each rose that caught my attention. There are a mass of varieties here, nearly all scented. There are roses with a lovely, light uplifting scent, roses which smell of rose hand cream or soap, roses with a very deep fragrance that evoke some audible expression of delight.  The most intoxicating scent was a variety called Jayne Austin.  A single rose can be the most perfect, instant aromatherapy. 


This is no formal rose garden with varieties displayed in ordered beds, clearly labelled. This is a real , English garden where the roses are planted among other summer flowers. In one area there are a mass of tall, oriental poppies, many of a deep purple shade.  Then there are intense blue delphiniums, tall spikes of a pale pink flower I have never seen before and cannot name…. plus much more. As I walk through the garden every shade of every colour seems to present itself.  There’s profusion, disorder, abundance… like a summer ball or party when inhibitions are dropping. I think of ball gowns slipping from shoulders, lipstick smeared….  everyone is in the moment…. seizing the day.   A temporary escape from daily preoccupations and cares.


Almost instantly, I find myself transported back to flow.  The ‘power of now’ which is easy to know but so much harder to practise.  A newly hatched bullfinch comes close to my feet, chirping and eyeing me expectantly before flying away with sudden swerves in direction (rather as people describe the motion of UFO’s).  There are bees everywhere; some seem almost delirious with nectar.  I become fascinated by the other people and how they are interacting with the flowers.  Many have cameras, photographing flowers or friends.  All stop frequently, some making expansive gestures, arms waving and pointing in the direction of whatever has unexpectedly tethered them to the moment.  A few, like me, stop, lower their faces to some chosen bloom and inhale deeply.  A man sits engrossed in his paper. A resentful child is hunched on the fountain base, waiting without hope for his mother to restore her attention to him.  We are many races, many colours. City people and tourists. All celebrating summer. The sun has come out and it’s unexpectedly hot.

Is this how we find flow? To cut the ties that bind us… to take a moment to connect with nature…. and to find that we have escaped responsibilities, cares and linear time.  Plans seem absurdly unimportant.  All thoughts of work melted away.  Can it really be as easy as this?