I went for a bush walk today. It’s one of the things that really nourishes me. It doesn’t even have to be true bush. As long as there are trees and silence, I’m happy.
The Australian bush is muted. There are few really vivid colours in the bush. Even the reds – bottle brush, crimson rosellas – have depth rather than brightness. The Australian bush is a study in gentle colours: greens, greys, browns, the faded yellows of the grasses – colours that a tired mind could easily become lost in.
This time, I noticed another colour. In a swathe of dried yellow grasses was a single greenish stem; from this stem grew three spikes of purple flowers.
Botany is about as far from being my strong point as sumo wrestling is, but my guess would be that it was a type of native lavender. Tiny, though: each of the four, perfect delicate petals coming off each spiky pistil (I had to look that word up) wouldn’t have covered one third of my smallest fingernail; they looked so fragile, among the clamouring of the dried grasses, that the merest touch would see them bruised and bleeding.
I spent several minutes looking at these little beauties, but I could so easily have missed them among the multiplicity of green and grey and brown and faded yellow. It made me wonder: how many things did I not see, just on that single bush walk? How many things do I not see every day, because I’m too busy, or too tired, or distracted by emails or text messages or the bustle and clamour of my own thoughts?
How many miracles did I fail to notice today alone, because I was looking and not seeing? And will I do better tomorrow?