• Dr Jodie Bradnam

Sunflower Seeds.

Connection rituals are important and small acts of kindness matter. In the daily rush however, it is easy to overlook opportunities to practice kindness.

As a young girl, my family moved to Gladstone to live with my grandparents. Times were tough, unemployment rates were high and my Dad was working in the Blackwater coal mines in Central Queensland. It was a difficult job, with long hours and challenging conditions.

On the drive to Blackwater, he'd stop and pick a sunflower if he saw it growing on the roadside. He'd then send the petals neatly folded in hand written letters back to us in Gladstone. My mum would read the letters as I held the brittle yellow petals in my hand.

Sunflowers have been a lovely ritual of connection throughout the years. Even now, if my parents buy flowers for my birthday, they are almost always sunflowers. I'm reminded today, on the eve of my Dad's birthday, how very important these acts of kindness are.

There's great joy in receiving a handwritten note that someone has taken the time to pen. One of my favourite gifts from my husband is a postcard that he left on the windscreen of my car when we first started dating. "Enjoy today xx", was written on the reverse side.

These moments of connection matter. My challenge to you today is to write to someone who means something to you. Whether it is a love letter or thank you, a pretty card or a letter with an envelope and stamp - write it and send it. It only takes a moment, but a moment in time can mean so much more than that.

Small acts of kindness may just bloom, like a sunflower on the side of the road.