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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals

What women want -  May 2014

08 May 2014

A flower. Soft cream petals, a single leaf on its stem.

A flower that was nearly in full bloom, but not quite … A flower that had shown the world all its beauty, but still had time before the petals fell and curled.

The brown stamen had scattered little dots of pollen in the centre, and from there its scent gently caught on the breeze. A fragrance that was so beautiful, it made you stop and close your eyes and just breathe in. A flower that made your senses sing, and brought a smile to your lips. A rose, just a cream rose.

I was walking along the path that follows the beach, on a sunny afternoon last week. Just a regular Thursday afternoon, and whilst it’s rare for me to take some time out, I had met a friend for coffee and we had decided on a walk to the headland to watch the autumn sunset hit the clouds on the horizon.

We were talking, laughing, catching up whilst bicycles whizzed by, joggers pounded the pavement, and all manner of sizes of dogs seemed united by a desire to free themselves of leads – and owners – and run on the beach in the wind. I felt content with the space I was in and focused on the “now” rather than the lists of chores and emails I knew were waiting for me on my return. I was happy.

As we walked up the hill, a girl on a vintage-style bike, with white blonde hair in little bunches either side, was slowly cruising down the hill towards us, chatting to a boy who walked beside her. Like us, they weren’t in a hurry, and were laughing and bantering back and forth. They looked like happy, hippy, alternative types – they could have been straight from the photos of an Indie music festival.

We caught each other’s eye, as you do when walking towards each other. And so we could have passed, with just a smile, and I would never have given them a second thought.

As we came side by side on the path, travelling in the opposite directions, she came to a stop on her bike and jumped off, and held out to me a cream rose and simply said “for you” and smiled a gorgeously radiating smile. Surprised, I took the flower with a “thank you” before they were off on their way again and the sound of their chatter bounced around and faded. My friend looked perplexed before he asked “what was all that about?” To which my only conclusion is that it was quite simply: “A Random Act Of Kindness”.

I took the flower home and enjoyed its stunning fragrance for several days before the petals finally did fall, but the most important thing is the memory of it has made me smile for a while. And the message was clear to me – whilst we all know about Random Acts of Kindness and the power of them, or about the Pay it Forward movement, how many of us are actually doing them occasionally?

It made me remember how little it can sometimes take – a flower (picked from someone’s garden, there’s no way that fragrance comes from hothouse flowers!) brought so much unexpected joy, and is something that I’ll remember.

I’m waiting for my opportunity to give my Random Act of Kindness – I don’t know what it will be, or when it will happen, but I believe the right moment will present itself and it will be a genuine passing on of kindness. And if we all could just occasionally pass on a little more kindness to each other, to strangers, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

What a woman wants is to feel the love of her friends and family, but what a woman loves is to know that there is kindness out there, for no reason at all. Sometimes a rose, is a lot more than just a rose.

With love, Abby x

Don’t forget you can email me at
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