One of the things I love about living here is the floral scented air. Even when it’s cold or not very warm out, the smell of wattle, jasmine or daphne fills the air.
Growing up in Canada, usually you had to get pretty close to flowers to be able to smell them, even lilac or budlea. But here it’s a common experience, in spring to have a tree several metres away and be able to smell the flowers. I remember being struck by this when I first came back 13 years ago. And I’m blessed this spring to live near many blooming wattles.
In the years since moving back here, it’s been a good excuse to stop and smell the flowers, to appreciate the flora of my homeland, both native and introduced species. Sometimes I didn’t always know the difference. And when I first arrived back, not knowing the plants here was a bit disconcerting. Being a plant lover is a big part of my identity.
Last year I was having a conversation with a friend, exploring how I was relating to being someone who posts photos of a lot of flowers on Instagram. I didn’t really want to be ‘one of those people’ thinking it was a bit inane. Realising I was keeping my love for the beauty of flowers at arm’s length by being cerebral about it, focusing on what they are called.
Part of it is about resisting what is associated with being ‘girly’. The value that ‘girly girls’ have in our society is quite limited in scope and as a teenager I rejected it, never wearing pink and eventually I stopped wearing dresses. And it contributed to how I thought about what was ok to enjoy and what wasn’t.
Now I’m letting my flower freak flag fly. In my old age I’m starting to care less what others think and giving myself permission to enjoy what I enjoy regardless.
My name is Tathra Street and I love flowers. I love waking up to the scent of wattle wafting through the air. I love the vast array of diverse forms they take, orchid, gerbera, honeysuckle, snapdragon, violet, hyacinth, bougainvillea, lily, protea, cornflower, tulip, freesia, peony, dahlia, nigella, cosmos, cyclamen, iris, calendula, hydrangea, columbine, fritillaria, clematis, jacaranda…. the list is endless.
This is day 6 in 45 posts for 45 years.