Smell the Flowers

In a nursing home somewhere in Sydney
the old man sat and watched the seasons go
and in his eyes I saw a distant memory
of a place and time that he knew long ago

With no-one left to come and visit
he sat and dreamed of days gone by
and as he told me of his story
I saw a tear well in his eye

“There was a time I was a drover
riding out across the plains
driving mobs up into Townsville
facing drought and flooding rains

I saw the best life has to offer
I lived through times forever gone
but now I’m old and long forgotten
these memories still linger on

I’ve seen the blooms of golden wattle
stretching out for miles around
I’ve felt the chill of cold hard mornings
with winter’s frost upon the ground

I’ve ridden high into the mountains
and seen the end of long hot days
ridden out into the back blocks
checking gates and chasing strays

I’ve seen the hand of so-called progress
I’ve seen the scars upon the land
I long for all that’s left behind me
but sand slips quickly through my hand

I had a wife, I had a family
but that was many years ago
They all moved on to where I’m heading
and time these days is moving slow”

He offered me some words of wisdom
from his life and times gone by
“Stop a while and smell the flowers
give serenity a try”

And then his eyes lost all expression
drifting back from where we are
and once again he rode the range land
and gazed upon the ridges far

And in my wild and hectic lifestyle
I envy him his days of grace
driving mobs across the country
moving on from place to place

So when I can I stop and listen
hear the birds, enjoy their song
I stop a while and smell the flowers
I feel a peace that makes me strong

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