I’m sitting in my favourite café with my laptop, on a moist gentle-rain kind of day, and the sound of a car horn takes my attention out to the street. A young man is racing down the road on one of those small streamlined scooters, as fast as his bare feet can manage. A car behind him is obviously impatient with the speed and honks until the fellow moves aside and off his scooter. I run out to the street to see this, and return to my table filled with delight at what I had just witnessed.
It strikes me suddenly, that I’ve always enjoyed people who do unpredictable things – people who seem to live outside what I think of as standard ‘formulas for living’.
For me, such people are like the beautiful wildflowers of informal gardens – which incidentally is the kind of garden I have. No formal privet hedges for me. And no conformists among my friends. Instead, my ‘different’ friends challenge and enrich me, just as garlic and forget-me-nots grow happily together in the garden. Well, I guess ‘happily’ is a bit of a stretch, but I also enjoy taking a metaphor as far as it wants to go.
Notwithstanding overly romanticized metaphors, my realistic inner voice chides me for briefly forgetting how ‘society’ deals with the wildflowers in its midst. Especially those with mental health issues. For they can be the ultimate in unpredictability.
Most people prefer a social environment that contains few puzzling or mysterious surprises. Especially not scary ones please – and above all, don’t even dream of asking them to support (financially OR emotionally) people like that.
Ah, but I do! Dream, that is. I dream of a day when all of society will happily nourish the unpredictable wildflowers among us, because we realize that not only are they beneficial environmentally, but they so enrich our lives.