Living the Sweet Life The Peaceful Life              July 2023

Hey my Sweet Lifers! I hope all of ya’ll are having a wonderful start to summer. I have been enjoying mine most thoroughly. I’ve been learning a lot about what seeds to sow and when to do so in the flower garden and watching things sprout up and grow has been quite satisfying. The poppy has been one such flower that I have tried and failed and finally this year has decided to grace my presence with it’s beauty. It’s really amazing how much can be learned from actually reading the instructions LOL These gals have to be sowed in the fall in order to come our showy in spring. 

I remember when the children, now all adults; saw the packages of seeds and every one of them gave me a look. I had not thought much about the history of the poppy or even it’s use for that matter. My own childhood memories were faint recollections of the film “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ” with it’s sea of red beauties. It did not take me long to get all informed by the children as you can quite imagine. “Why are you growing those mother?” “What are you going to do with those?” Ah… “Have them in the garden to enjoy and watch the butterflies and bees.” I replied. And then I looked up the poppy. What a history this flower has had! 

The poppy is one of the most famous plants in medicine for it’s pain killing properties. Obviously ya’ll I am assuming already knew…codeine and morphine. Lord have Mercy! Of course, I did not cause I don’t fly on that radar. This plant has been found native all over the world with the Sumerians growing it as early as 3,400 BC. It was at the center of the opium wars in the early 1800’s! It has a interesting history from World War 1 as well with the fallen soldiers in Flanders France. Apparently after the men were buried massive amounts of poppies began to sprout over the graves in the newly sifted soils inspiring literary poets to write about the poppy and one most famous poem entitled “In Flanders Field” written by a Canadian solider in 1915. That means my grandmothers would have known about tis flower and like so many things in the garden and kitchen too I miss not having their wisdom and insight. I would have known a lot more about these tiny seeds had they been here to tell me:) 

There are several poppies that came up in the wildlife habitat for the first time this year and they are so delicate and wispy. I have spent a lot of time photographing them and watching how they form and open up. So many friends these days pop over to walk and pick the garden and almost always they comment how much peace they feel here. I found it interesting that the poppy actually symbolizes peace, remembrance, undying love and sacrifice. All words that describe my sentiments in my Sweet Life Garden. More often than not it’s in my own sea of flowers mixed with Queen Anne’s Lace that I find myself remembering my summer mountain hikes with my Grandfather. The heavy scent of hyacinths bring me to the side of my childhood home where mother planted them before she died. The hydragenas with their splashes of changing pinks to blues to lavenders remind me of my Nana and all those vegetables… Well when my fingers are stained green from picking tomatoes and cucumbers I’m right there with my Daddy! 

There’s a lot of sacrifice when planting a garden and mine has taught me so many things about patience and remembrance. Mostly though it has been and will continue to provide a place of solitude and a portal that brings forth floods of past memories with my family no longer here with me. I think that what people feel in it is the same sense of mortality and grace. Each day it is different as we each day are as well. Everything blooms in their own time and place and succumbing to an ever changing life with all it’s ups and downs makes you stop and enjoy every moment. It’s in the understanding of that one can truly live a sweet life and a sweet life is one of peace!

Take Care of YOU and Stay “Sweet!” 


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