Sweet lessons from sugarbush

Protea obtusifolia Image: www.fynbos.co.za

Protea obtusifolia / Sugarbush / Bredasdorp suikerbos / Image: www.fynbos.co.za

When a flower like sugarbush becomes so well-known that it inspires a song, its  familiarity becomes boring and we tend to fail seeing its beauty.  In my search for exotic fragrances I’ve focused on more extravagant flowers and their seductive smells and overlooked the simple pleasures that protea brings.

If I have to choose only one flower to take with me on a trip for sweet memories from home it would be the Bredasdorp suikerbos.  This protea will provide sensual comfort with its distinct fynbos fragrance, velvety touch and bold fire truck colour.   And should I need some extra comfort I could visualize myself as a sugarbird or bee and snuggling into the sugary flower head.

The protea family was named after the sea-god Proteus in Greek mythology, and according to the language of flowers protea symbolizes courage.  In her book “In Celebration of Fynbos” Petra Vandercasteel summarizes the myth of consulting with Proteus: “When you have an urgent question about your way in the world and you already know the answer but it fails to satisfy you, going to great lengths to find the answer will only bring you back to what you already know.”

Sugarbush awarded me with some valuable lessons about looking for fresh answers in a familiar situation. May you have the courage to search for your sweet answers!

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