The Poppy: Red or Orange, I’ll Remember Just the Same

My local park features a California Native garden. For part of the 2015 Earth Day volunteer weekend, I spent three straight hours in one small patch of that garden (pictured below). It was there among the various grasses and flowers where I slowly discovered that weeding puts me in a meditative state. It also gave me an opportunity to appreciate the Eschscholzia californica–the California poppy.

poppy

The bright orange flower in the center is a California poppy.

Yesterday I was at a farmers’ market and there was a man handing out little small synthetic red flowers with a tag that read: wear it with pride. When I got home, I searched online for a little more information about the little red flower and its connection to Memorial Day. What I found was a beautiful poem by Moira Michael, a woman who conceived the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

I haven’t seen any real red poppies this year, but with all of the golden poppies filling the California landscape this spring, it’s a nice reminder of several things: beauty comes in all colors; consider filling your garden with drought-tolerant native plants; and take a few moments to remember the loved ones whose courage and valor allow us to enjoy an ice cold brew and a hot BBQ this lovely long weekend.

This post is dedicated in remembrance of my grandfather who served bravely for this country. 

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