The other week my dear friend Marija and I headed from Melbourne to Sydney purposely to see Janelle Monae at the Vivid Festival. *Please note a lot of my blog posts will likely reference Marija as we do travel a heck of a lot together and we go to tonnes of gigs. The plan was to head to the newly refurbished MCA - along the way we crossed Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens. Marija insisted we take the scenic route through the Botanic Gardens.
Having lived in Sydney for about 7 years, I realised I could count on both hands the amount of times I've been through the Botanic Gardens. And on all occasions certainly not mindful of the space around me as I would have just been there for work - to film something, MC an event, to interview someone - IN and OUT.
But this trip was certainly something special. The moment Marija and I walked from the Macquarie Street entry into the Gardens there was a huge shift - sonically - from traffic to pure serenity in just one step. And energy, we were instantly in paradise. I suddenly felt completely at ease and at the same time thinking WHY THE HECK DIDN'T I COME HERE MORE OFTEN WHEN I LIVED HERE?!
It was paradise in an instant. Being still, then walking through the gardens and speaking softly, Marija and I also spent some time trying to walk with our eyes closed and we instantly became more aware of the sounds of all the different birds around us. Trees around us that have grown through the decades while the facade of Sydney's city goes through constant change.
And then we saw this thing.
That my friends is a badass Royal Botanic Greenhouse. Again, lived in Sydney for 7 years and I didn't notice this thing til now. Amazing!
I reflected on the years that had flown by in Sydney while I sat in the gardens by the bay and then by this excellent greenhouse and thought - so much time spent rushing, to tick off things on To Do Lists, from one appointment to the next, and these pockets of paradise in our own cities sit patiently waiting for us to enjoy them.
The memory I have looking at this image is that instant sense of calm and a huge reminder to take time out. Even from the busiest schedule to just be with nature. A lot of my youth was spent in the garden, certainly not as elaborate as this but it still had just as much influence on my sense of calm and nostalgically my connection to family (another post for another time).
When we're away on holidays we quite often visit famous parks but don't really enjoy our own. We have it so good here. So I'm making it a regular thing. Getting back to what's familiar and what I enjoy the most. A simple thing, but something truly rewarding. Be with Nature.