I'm not a big fan of roses, so the idea of stopping to smell them has never meant much to me. But I've now got a phrase to replace it: taking the time to stop and pick the cotton.
As we drove to San Antonio last weekend, taking Tilly on her longest-yet car ride, there were points when I wondered if we were crazy to drive for a total of seven hours, only to be there less than twenty-four. It's easy to stick to doing what is easy... that is, to stay at home and merely survive, hour by hour, nap by nap. But then, when would we ever see the wonderful things the outside world has to offer, like fields of cotton in bloom?
Now perhaps it's because I've never learnt much about American history, only American literature, but I have to admit, I sort of half-thought cotton plants were fictional. And the popcorn/fluffy cloud/marshmallow-like appearance of the cotton only added to that, making it totally surreal. In fact, the only way I could truly "believe" in the cotton fields was to have Justin pull over the car so I could run down the bank and pick a little piece off to feel it. (It's soft, just like a cotton ball you buy, but with quite big, black seeds in the centre)
And so, even though it made our journey five minutes longer, and Tilly five minutes more grumpy by the time we got there, I wouldn't have missed that moment of wow-I'm-really-living-in-Texas-now for anything!