The plight of a Camellia hater.
August 28, 2013
We all know that as a general rule, nature is just about perfect. I tend to go along with the notion that the more I get to know about mankind the more I tend to look at the growing grass for salvation and nurture. I like nature and dislike wars and camellias. Oops…sorry, but camellias I did remove from my list of nature some years ago when I discovered to my horror the people who associate intimately with camellias.
I always had a feeling of unease when walking past heaps of brown rotting flowers littering the concrete footpaths along stretches of my first Australian taste of suburbs. I finally mustered up enough will, courage and asked what those flowers were. Camellias was the answer.
Many know that I often touch upon my personal blight of having lived in a suburb. It dates back to my teen years of isolation many decades ago after arrival from Holland. I narrowly escaped by moving into a room in the inner city area of Paddington. What a relief, finally understanding there was life after all. This all happened some years before the most fortuitous event of them all, even outdoing my escape from Australian suburb, meeting up in Europe with my future wife from Finland. Camellias have come, gone and rotted but we are still together all those years.
I hope I don’t tread on the toes of lovers of Australian suburbs nor on camellia fans. I understand that having a back yard for the kiddies is important. I fully understand and acknowledge that this is as ingrained in our national psyche as prawns on the barbeque with frozen peas. However, does that have to include growing camellias as well?
My dad used to shake his head in amazement when the neighbours’ camellias used to shed their flowers in our garden. It was good mulch. He also detested those flowers. So maybe my aversion is genetic based rather than just personal prejudice. It is all so complicated and one spends a lifetime trying to figure out other peoples foibles instead of trying to sort out own problems and silly idiosyncrasies.
Let me confess at least (before my time is up) to admitting my camellia phobia is illogical and very limiting in experiencing more joys than just relying on growing grass for sustenance. Perhaps a good psychiatrist or reading Emmanuel Kant might throw light on this camellia phobia of mine. He did say:
He who is cruel to camellias becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of camellias.
Who really cares?
They look so plastic. Those shiny leaves? I know of no other plant that so readily takes to looking artificial. In my suburb of before mentioned sad teen years, a neighbour higher up, belonged to a camellia society. He also was forever mowing his lawn with one of the first Victa’s lawnmower that used to never start except when he got close to going berserk in his backyard. He used branches of his beloved camellias to thrash his Victa lawnmower into submission. I used to watch his lawn mowing efforts through our venetian blinds. It is perhaps now easier to understand for you readers how low I had sunk in my spiritual suburb dehydration.
If there is one thing that I still have a burning ambition for, is; please never leave plastic flowers on my headstone nor any camellia, even within my very limited sight.
Tags: Camellia, E.Kant, Finland, Holland, Paddington, Prawns, Victa lawnmower.
Posted in Gerard Oosterman