I like doing nice things with Hannah. We dream a lot about the same kinds of things and when we finally live out these things they never disappoint. Here she retells our last Friday together....
"Last week we went to heaven, and it was only 35 minutes outside of Sydney's centre. Actually, it didn't seem like heaven at first, not with that early morning start, those drooping eyelids, that frenetic rush to throw on a handknit sweater and some strappy sandals while the car waited outside. It didn't seem like heaven without coffee. Maybe that 5 am wake up call wasn't worth it after all, we thought, arms crossed as we crested the highway. And then... No pearly gates, no shining, godly light, no crown of clouds. Just a surly parking attendant demanding $8 and a veritable army of forklifts, speeding across the parking lots laden with a treasury of fresh produce.
A park was found, a path was navigated, and there we were, standing in the soaring confines of the Sydney Flower Markets.
It was peonies first. Swelling proudly on the right and the left, more than we had ever seen, shy as a schoolgirl. Pink and purple and the cleanest, purest white, stained with red at the very tip of the bud. Then there were the roses, (oh, the roses!), in every colour imaginable - and some better left unimagineable, blue roses we think not - smelling like turkish delight and Sundays.
Flowers, so many flowers, grouped in buckets and wrapped in plastic or bundled with twine in cardboard boxes, filling the room with secret smiles and quietly disbelieving headshakes. We swooned over the field-like spread of hibiscus, the wily, tough bunches of natives, the stalks of sweetpeas, proud and vain (and why wouldn't you be, if you looked like that?) that were so popular with the bridesmaids and wedding planners sweeping through the warehouse in a cloud of Jo Malone grapefruit.
It's all too much and we step away, wandering in and out, breathing in greedy gulps of fresh air before resurfacing amidst the flowers, grasping at bunches we want to take home, grasping at everything we find beautiful, which is to say, everything.
In our imaginations heaven would have been cleaner. There wouldn't have been crushed stalks on the floor or muddy puddles of tepid water or tacky peace-sign emblazoned wrapping paper. But. Perhaps this is what makes heaven truly heaven? The heat, the short tempers, the sellers who wink and whistle. Paradise shouldn't be perfect, think how tiresome that would be? It's enough - so much more than enough - that the flowers are."
Photos: Rachel Kara
Words: Hannah Rose Yee