Fessing up to mistakes has got to be one of the toughest challenges in life. Worse still is the realisation that others might perceive you as imperfect. Yet when I started this blog I underwrote my purpose to be about talking about my successes AND my mistakes, so that others might learn.
Today’s pill was hard to swallow, and writing about it is even harder, but here goes.
There have been some kowhai trees that have self-seeded outside my living room window that have been doing remarkably well there. However, they are quite close to the house so I decided to transplant them on the council land opposite the house. That area is overgrown with wandering willy, convovulus and other noxious pests, and my vision is to plant it up with native species that our local tui and kereru like to feed off. I dug out the about 10 small trees and decided I could only plant a handful today, so offered the surplus kowhai on the local social media page. They were quickly snapped up and the kindly gentlemen left a bag of fruit for us when he picked them up.
So far, a story of reciprocated community generosity.
BUT, another more knowledgeable member of the same social media community pointed out that the trees I had offered, were not kowhai, but “dreaded brush wattle”, a noxious weed from Australia. On reading this, it felt like my insides were sucked out of me as my heart hit the floor. I’d made a boo boo. And a public one at that! I felt a dark room and a blanket call my name.
With social media it is too easy to hide all our warts and wrinkles in an attempt to put on a perfect façade. I considered deleting my post before anyone else could see it. But then I thought “fuck it”, why should I window dress the situation. My life is pretty chaotic, and most of the time I manage to keep the peaks and troughs smoothed to an undulating path. In the scheme of things this was a minor blue that exposed an ignorance. I mis-identified a plant, mis-represented it to an unsuspecting member of my community, and got a bag of feijoas and a lemon for my trouble!
The other side of the coin is that I now know what wattle is, and so too do hopefully a few other people in the hood. And as leguminous cousins to the kowhai, at least they are nitrogen fixers!
Now, I just need to dig out the wattle I planted on the bank!