Remembrance Day takes on more resonance today as we find our world so divided. Take the poppy to remember what it is our veterans fought for. Take nature to remember how connected we are, and to co-exist is a continuous practice of compromise and compassion.
Poppies are a helpful beauty to keep in the garden. Easy to grow from seed and bee-friendly. Once you have sown them they will self-seed and decorate your garden year after year. Poppies do not like marshy living quarters, and so take advantage of the drier spots in the garden. Watering is needed most during the hottest part of the season. Beyond that, like any good weed, it mostly takes care of itself.
For an ornamental, poppies are a pretty profound flower. Representing beauty and devastation, healing and addiction. Poppies are grown for their beauty and used to treat pain. Because the poppy grows like a weed in England it inspired a poem which came to represent war. For decades the poppy has been a token to remember what was sacrificed and what nearly came to be. Now it seems with opioid use at crisis point the poppy has yet another story to tell us.
Respect and reverence are what this flower deserves. When you look at a poppy, remember the veterans yes, but also remember the reason for their sacrifice. Remember veterans who today are suffering from substance abuse. Remember “the war to end all wars” and how we are failing that promise today.