I never cared for geraniums.

I guess this aversion stems from a childhood of dusty hot suburban days in the Southern Suburbs of South Australia. Geraniums clinging to the concrete and steel of the telephone poles as I walked to school. I’m not sure what metaphor I had created out of that particular flower back in those days. Maybe I cringed at a failed attempt at beautifying the mundane. Then again maybe I just associated it with a troubled childhood and my aversion for school.

Now that I’m a conservationist I have legitimate reasons to dislike an introduced plant like Geraniums. Garden escapees colonizing  native bushland. Unless of course they are  native species of pelargonium.

Today on my 37th birthday I drank for the great mother and decided to run up Old Willunga Hill. I passed those same geraniums I detested so much in my younger darker days. The colours so bright under the overcast sky. Beautiful.

So many times I have failed. Fell short. Prevented from helping others. Out of fear or cowardice or lack of confidence. Who am I, so flawed as I am, fooling myself thinking I can help anyone. The blind leading the blind.

But I see now. I’m the lucky one. Not despite of my flaws, my pain, my weaknesses but because of them. These imperfections and the struggle that I subject myself to tells me I am alive. For that I am fortunate. Others have not been so lucky. Such intelligence and  motivation and passion, taken away needlessly. I need to somehow honour them.

Those who CAN have an obligation to DO.

I may have failed to render assistance to those in need, for that I am sorry. I thought I was weak. But as long as I can still, bleed, run, draw and love I need to do so as well as I can.

I don’t get to rest. I don’t get to hide. I need to fight . I need to keep running. For those who can’t for those who left us.

Running alone will not save the world. Maybe though it will equip me with the strength I need to understand I need to be strong, not for myself but so I can help others. Running is a vehicle, a language, a loudspeaker, a dance of life and death and the beautiful sadness resonating through the human heart. As flawed as you are, be the best you can be. You have a duty to honour those no longer capable of doing so.

Improve yourself, not for ego but so you may better help the world. Be a force for creativity, love and joy. Take some time to stop and smell the Geraniums.

I love you all.

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