July 7, 2013

The Remembering Flower

I fell in love last year.  No, not with a person, you silly gooses.  I fell in love with a thing.  

Well, a thing and a place, but that is another story.

While traipsing through England and France last year I acquired quite a taste for poppies.  Beautiful flowers like the one below, which rests beneath the victory statute in the American cemetery connected to Omaha beach.  Does D-Day ring any Bells?  Normandy?  (Or Normandie, if we're to be linguistically correct)

Because of the rich history or successes and failures and life in Europe there is an amazing atmosphere of reverence for the past and the people who made today possible.  It illegal to pick poppies in France because of what they represent.

The story goes like this...
Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.
In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe's heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields

While I was over there a dear friend bought me a packet of poppy seeds to bring back, but unfortunately I had to surrender them going through customs.

Not to be dissuaded, I purchased a variety pack of poppies from the Eden Brothers late in the year.  They lay dormant in my dresser drawer till this spring, when I went and broke ground and planted my own Remembrance Garden.  A little over a week later there were sprouts!  Many evening waterings and afternoon weedings later, 3 little flowers have emerged.

I love these flowers.  They easily stole first place on my flower list.  And now I can walk down to my little garden and remember.

My heart does a little flutter every time I see them out my window.  

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