Floral scented air

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.

What made me smile today

Sitting at a traffic light, behind a white cargo van, empty so I could see the driver and passenger. A swift move attracts my eye, a high five and energetic bopping in their seats. A song they like must have come on the radio, their youthful enthusiasm rippling from the van into my little car behind them.

I could just make out the faded pink pastel bob of the passenger and the gentle smiling face of the driver as they enjoyed the moment. Me in my car, vicariously enjoying the moment with them, almost a bit voyeuristic but with joy emanating all around.

What made you smile today?

I return to the office where I do monthly coaching sessions with my tech services dudes. I’ve been working with them for over three years now and have seen a lot of changes. As I walked through the corridor I see a few guys from another department who I don’t recognise. One is exclaiming how fresh and beautiful his sandwich is, that he wants to get another. They see me, look slightly awkward and make way for me to pass through. One says a hearty hello to me, tho we’ve never met.

His positivity stayed with me for several minutes afterward. And still, as I recall the interaction as I wait for my next client, writing this to you, I’m feeling it.

These things made me smile today. Felt worth sharing. What made you smile today?

This is day 5 in 45 posts for 45 years.

Head or Heart?

For years we’re conditioned to trust only our head and distrust our feelings and emotions. “Don’t be so emotional.” “Don’t let your feelings get in the way.” However, we’re also told to follow our hearts. In relationships and even careers. “Do what you love.” “Find someone you can really love.”

Does the head inform the heart or does the heart inform the head? Does heart intelligence have greater meaning? Does using our head make us smarter? I like to think there are many ways of knowing and understanding our inner and outer worlds. Sometimes it feels like just using our head or just using our heart doesn’t utilise the intelligences we have available to us.

Cultivating multiple intelligences and using what our heart knows, our head knows, as well as what our gut knows and what our body knows, to me this is wisdom. I don’t always get an obvious signal from more than one and it can take a more inquisitive approach to dig deeper into what’s really going on under that gut sense or heart flutter, or that recurring image that comes to mind, defying coincidence. But I’ve learned to get curious and pay attention to the messages I get from the different ways of knowing.

I find that the more I can stay open and be curious, the more wise choices I seem to make. I no longer feel the need to decide between head and heart, or even what my body seems to want or my gut sense is. Sometimes when it’s less than obvious it can take time, but the more I focus on and inquire into what’s really going on, I feel more informed by the variety of ways to know what there is to know.

This is day 4 in 45 posts for 45 years.