In a hundred-year-old rose garden, there was an old man surrounded by a thousand colours and smells. One day, a man came to him to learn the secret of his magnificent roses. The old man was busy pruning the roses and was concentrating.
The man said to him:
“Aren’t you afraid of thorns?”
“Afraid of what would prevent me from seeing the flowers bloom?”
The visitor realized the old man was wise and sat down beside him. He asked:
“How can you help a man such as myself?”
“I have four keys to share with everyone, the four keys of life. Here is the first one. Enjoy the present moment. Each moment is fleeting and the beauty that arises from it is like a precious blossom that must be observed and cherished.
In nature, plants grow according to an S pattern. They start slowly, grow fast and then stabilize.
Each of our actions is like a plant that blossoms and must be nurtured. Hastening things, striving for speed does not bring satisfaction.”
The man said:
“But only speed can safeguard the future.”
The old man smiled and answered:
“You must rejoice in simplicity. Appreciating slowness is a long exercise that is enhanced by the joy found in small things. Every action, every object, every subject has a beauty to reveal.
When your gaze turns to this beauty, a simple but profound sense of contentment arises and chases away the clouds of everyday life.”
“But what if one is prevented?”
After a silence, the old man added:
“You have to be open to encounters. Encounters with events, people, situations, not sought after, but spontaneous, take place in the serenity of the present moment. Being open to encounters, to the benefits of the present, is to anchor yourself in this just and positive dynamic. This is the third key.”
“What if everything is blocked?”
The old man answered:
“We must hope for balance. Natural balance is a harmony of everyday life, when lack is transformed into abundance, when abundance is nurtured. Like a garden, the harvests change every year and what does not grow one day can grow the next. Being satisfied with what we have is enough. Return to the world with these keys and sadness will no longer be your companion.”
The man got up and left, calm and content.