Whenever someone tells me a plant “grows like a weed,” I’m a bit skeptical. For me, this usually means it will die before the summer ends. (Every year we plant mint. It has never come back.) Years ago, previous owners of our house planted oriental poppies. At the end of May, our entire yard is edged with masses of bright orange poppies. It’s my favorite time of year – it means summer is actually on its way. I think our yard has the highest concentration, but over the years poppy seeds have spread and you can find orange blooms throughout our neighborhood.
The poppies never stay long – maybe a couple weeks. They are brilliant and beautiful and then they turn into abstract brown sculptures. Frank mows them down each year, in hopes of spreading the seeds more. I don’t mind that they only last a short time. By then, our other flowers and plants are established and our yard is filled with seasonal color.
I was reminded of our poppies the past couple weeks. Partly because they are getting ready to bloom and partly because I had been feeling a bit lost in where I fit in. It’s field trip season at the museum, and I’ve been working more than I had anticipated. While I absolutely love this job, there were a couple weeks of feeling tired and missing being solely a mom. As I began to question where I fit in, it became easy to question so many things. I began to feel pretentious for starting a blog – I’m not a writer! Why would I presume anyone would want to read this?! I began to wonder if I should contribute more to our family and society – maybe Bea would do better in full-time daycare and I could find a “real” job. I questioned my ability to be qualified for any job, and on and on and on….
And then I remembered our poppies. I thought about how they come up every year, just as I’m getting so antsy for true springtime and summer weather and colors. They fill the gap until our other flowers and veggies start filling in and showing up. After just a week, they become so big and floppy and fragile – just a brush and the petals will fall. And in another week, they are gone. I suppose that’s how this life-season is. Motherhood is such a vibrant, beautiful gap in life. It really is for such a short time and I need to remember to embrace it and to allow myself to flourish.
I’m not saying I’ll quit my (very part-time) job or stop pursuing other interests. A friend and I met the other night for dinner. She and I knew each other before we met our husbands and before we became mothers. We see each other weekly for book club and our families often get together. But, the other day we met for dinner, just the two of us. It was so amazing and life-giving to chat and complete conversations. We talked about work and our kids and ourselves. That night helped me remember who I was and all I bring to motherhood from my past experiences and relationships.
I feel like this can be such a fragile season, of knowing who I am and being content with the choices I’ve made. As I wait in anticipation for our bright poppies, I’ll try to remember to rest and enjoy this season in my own life, and all the experiences I am creating now.
What are you embracing in this season?
Linked with SheLoves Magazine’s monthly theme: Flourish.