In Good Company

Yesterday, I took a welcome break away from the PC and spent a few hours wandering around Hollis Gardens in the company of my botanist friend, Simona.

Though I have been there many times and in all seasons, she had never been so it was with a fresh pair of eyes that yesterday’s visit occurred.

Now, a typical visit for me to Hollis Gardens is somewhere around an hour and I am very flower-focused. But yesterday was around three hours and flowers played a tiny part in the morning adventure.

There was scarcely a plant left unvisited by the time we left and most of them had been delicately touched and lovingly spoken to. “here touch this, smell that…” I was driven to an unprecedented amount of plant interaction and it was wonderful.

I had never really engaged with plants on that level before and it opened my eyes and mind to an altogether new level of understanding. Though she knew almost all their names and told me, I scarcely remembered any when we were done. Such is the problem of old age … memories become more difficult to form.

I have uploaded a bunch of images at the end of the blog and hope you enjoy. From hidden lady birds, to the tiniest of mushroom my personal guide directed my lens into an entirely new world. Enjoy the view!

It was last night as I went through the images and imagined this blog, that the thought formed about the value of being accompanied on any adventure by someone from who you can learn.

As children, everyone knows more about everything than we do, so we become super-absorbent, gleaning new knowledge anywhere we find it.

But as adults we often fall into the trap of being the most knowledgeable about whatever topic we find ourselves immersed in. Or at least, we think we are. So while we value the opinions of the people on our journey with us, we often just relegate it to that … an opinion.

But as we reduce our learning, we ultimately become stale and life can become stale too. The wonder of a child’s eyes when they experience something fresh to them is so evident as to be thrilling, yet we often remove that freshness from our own life-experience.

It is one of the reasons that I love going anywhere with Simona or Jax (my science teacher friend) … they continually shed new light into my life with things I never knew and a fresh breeze blows through my soul.

There is a tendency among some (particularly those with strong egos) to want to be the most intelligent and most knowledgeable person in the room. These are the people that shun information and ignore directions. They already know it all.

But we are so much better off if we allow others to shine their light into our life because even if they end up telling us something we already know, at the very least we experience their perspective. Humans are quite unique and therefore bring such varied perspectives on almost every topic. Why would we not want to hear theirs?

By taking on board new information or even just new perspectives, we grow as people. And our journey becomes all the richer for it.

As you look through the images, you might notice how my own journey altered yesterday. Looking into trees to find unusual faces looking back at you (spooky even) or turning leaves upside down to see how some plants produce pods of pollen underneath. Who would have thought?

So, I guess the message in today’s blog is very simple … surround yourself with idiots and you will always be the smartest person in the room. But surround yourself with people that know more than you and you might actually learn something!

… just a thought!