I run. Mostly every day. It gets out frustration, it makes me grunt and moan and sweat…. and then smile. (Endorphins. Suck on that, BZE.) Running hard in Hollywood (mouth open, gasping…) leaves you quite open to smells coming out of nowhere and slapping you in the face. One corner smells of the most expensive perfume, that next of urine baked into the sidewalk by sunshine. Neither of those are examples of things that are nice to smell when you’re running so hard you may puke anyway. There are some, though, that make a runner’s heart happy. The stretch of sidewalk right after the steep uphill is shaded and they water right before my run every day it seems; by the time I get there the whole area smells of fresh earth; a musky, mysterious smell just begging you to dig in. My favorite is the rose garden on Franklin, concealed by a 4 foot tall adobe fence that isn’t even enough to keep the smell contained. It comes over the wall in light, rolling waves, the way I remember the ocean being in Florida. It’s a sweet, innocent, playful smell… not at all like the knock off version in the Hollywood lady’s expensive perfume (…she smells cheap, somehow, in comparison.) Turns out, you just can’t fake true beauty, no matter how you try. Like the imitation “rose” extract… manufactured by leading scientists; fake. It screams for our attention and grabs it with it’s sickly sweet and sour scent; like poison, only to be replaced almost immediately by disgust, and a headache. No amount of chemical engineering can replace the Truth. Sure, the natural rose is maybe a little wilted from feeling the heat, a few holes in it’s petals where some insect ate through without regard for fragility or grace. But these “flaws” only serve as a Beautiful reflection of what is True. That sweet, vulnerable smell can’t be replaced, not even by the most put together, researched, intentional attempt at perfect replication. It sneaks up, skipping playfully, laughing, turning; it makes a home in your head, makes you wish it could stay. It is Perfect.
(You are a rose, my Love. You are Perfect, just the way you are. Don’t give in to people’s perceptions of perfection, once they change you they’ll only long for your innocence; they’ll find someone else to run through their power wash. Stand stong, little One. You are loved.)