Whether we are walking or driving around at this time of year we can’t help but notice the abundance of poppies. They are clad in a variety of colours from yellow, pinks, mauves to the deep red. Poppies have for many years in our culture have come to come to symbolise death. We cant think of our fallen soldiers without the image of a poppy springing to mind. Last year saw the incredible instillation of handmade pottery poppies surrounding the Tower of London. The sight was breath taking and many queued for hours to witness this once in a lifetime art instillation.
In other cultures Poppies have different significant meanings. In Greek culture the poppy is the symbol of Morpheus the Greek God of dreams. The time before a poppy opens the bud seem to hang their heads. The ancient Greeks likened this to a sleeping person entering the dream world. In Chinese culture the Poppy represents rest, beauty and success. Christianity uses the Poppy to represent death as the red petals of the poppy represent the blood of the sacrificed Christ.
The variety of poppies is wondrous and the display that appears each year is a reminder that everything has its season.
To me the poppy is a metaphor for something else. The plants seed where they can, they often sprout where the conditions are most inhospitable. Think of those poppies that germinate in the cracks of pavement, with little nutrients, irrigation or other conditions more suitable to a plant growing well. Yet despite or is it because of these conditions, strong stems shoot forth often laden with buds resulting in an explosion of bloom and beauty.
Jolly Pots is a business that has its foundation in encouraging growth and experimentation
Often as individuals we try to make ourselves as comfortable as possible. We endeavour to provide ourselves with conditions we feel help us to avoid pain and hardship, protecting ourselves from the the bumps and obstacles of life. To many of us that may look like replicating the same routines each day, being afraid of new challenges from trying a different way to work, falling in love to changing our jobs, lives or outlook. It’s more comfortable doing what we have always done. Yet we can see from the example the poppy sets that this hardship, these struggles can somehow encourage growth and beauty. The poppy doesn’t have to do anything to grown, it just has to be and adapt to its conditions. As a species it evolves and is able to weather drought and storms.
We are all guilty of waiting life to be different and can find it difficult to embrace where we are evolve and change, adapting to our new conditions. A poppy does this with grace and through being shares its beauty. How many of us understand this as a concept in our own lives that to be just all of who we are is beautiful and enough.
If you don’t feel able to deal with situations you find yourself in, if you wake up each day thinking and feeling that life should not be this way then therapy may be a valuable way to begin the process of growth. Having a therapist alongside you who is willing to work through your struggles and help you make sense of your world is a way to enhance your own growth.