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Perfect imperfection of nature

It’s autumn in the Netherlands and with that the world turns into a beautiful scenery of yellow, orange, red and green colours. Every tree is different and unique and beautiful in its way. All together it creates an astonishing landscape.

I would call myself a perfectionist, always aiming to the highest. Nothing ever seems to be good enough. It is not in my dictionary to make mistakes or not being able to complete something. As if my self-esteem is dependent from the next thing I have to accomplish.

However, things changed after my journey to Uganda. In Uganda nothing is perfect, but to me it’s a perfect imperfection. Markets are full and unorganized. Carrots are not perfectly shaped and shining orange, they often have mud on them. Tomatoes are not round and bright red, often they have some imperfections and are partly coloured orange and green. Buses don’t drive according to a timetable. Roads are bumpy because they have a lot of holes in them. Toilets stink because stool doesn’t smell like Jasmin flowers. You will smell sweat, because sweat doesn’t smell like flowers either. Clothes of children are dirty and with holes because they are free to really play. As I already said, it isn’t a perfect world, but I love it because there is a lot of real life. Life as in love, joy, spontaneity and freedom. A lot of living in the moment, without thinking about tomorrow.

In Uganda, it’s about surviving. It is not about being the best, it’s about helping out each other. Valuing ones qualities and the qualities of others and putting them together to increase the chance of having a meal. It is like all the trees with their different colours together, none of them is the same or perfect, but all together they create a perfect imperfection.

Striving to the highest helped us in the Western world to develop a lot but didn’t we go too far? Trying to control too much, even things that aren’t in our hands and creating stress in the process that actually isn’t really necessary? If we stop reaching our targets, would it prevent us from having a meal tonight? Would it bring our lives in danger?

Every time I see the beautiful autumn colours it reminds me of not needing to be perfect. More and more often I can be content with every perfect imperfection.

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