These flowers and why they matter to me

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These flowers and I crossed paths a few weeks ago. They were going about their flowery business of growing and being beautiful, the usual flower business, and I was walking around a city alone that I had been to many times but had never actually been to. My family and I had landed in the airport of this vast sprawling city many times since I was a baby but I had never really been inside it, walked through its streets and taken in what it had to offer. I found churches, graffiti covered alleyways, old buildings, new buildings, a shop that specialised in zines, a whole building filled with haberdashery, vintage clothing shops (one nearly every 10 meters), huge public gardens, and a lot of dogs. I found myself quite lost in it all. All these people and so many things stuffed so close together. It was suffocating. Then I found these flowers.

They were in a small park (yes, there was a dog there too) and they were just growing. It is what flowers are meant to do, I know, but I was thinking that this city was the definition of Hell for anyone with claustrophobia. Alas, here these little miracles were.  No signs of wilting or weakening were visible on their tiny petals. They were not being suffocated by the city they were in, hadn’t been stepped on and, in fact, were thriving. These little flowers were living in a place I hadn’t thought they could be. I took this picture and continued on my way into the CBD, seeing with altered eyes. It still held it’s hustle and bustle energy, still felt entirely too cramped for me to be comfortable walking down the footpath but, I started to see the way the people there called it home. I recalled all the markets, the families strolling down footpaths in the gardens and the man sitting on the steps of the church. These people called this city home. They thrived here despite practically living on top of one another. They had found a way to grow amongst it all.

I think that, in the world we are living in, it’s difficult sometimes to feel like you have enough breathing room. With the internet and cities growing larger by the day, it can feel a little stifling. Too many people breathing in too small a space. But I think that perhaps if we find just the right place we can still be a part of it all without wilting.

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