"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" - James Baldwin
Saturday 6 June 2020
Poppies are for Everyone
the small park near our flat there is a wildflower meadow, about 8m
square, which is now full of Shasta daisies and poppies.
construction company building new apartments nearby wanted to use this
land for their portacabins. There was a public outcry. For many local
people, this park is their “garden”.
these pandemic days I like to stop by the meadow and watch it abuzz
with bees. It is unlikely there are beehives in streets just off the
Holloway Road so I suspect these are mason bees. They are as happy as
I am to be here because poppy pollen contains few fungi and the bees
like to line their brick nests with poppy petals.
I arrived there yesterday, a young couple were taking photos of their
two-year-old daughter who was sitting among the wild flowers. While
the delighted mum clapped her hands, their daughter scythed her arms
through the poppies. Dad took photos.
I signed a petition to keep the portacabins out, and I am ashamed to
say that I did nothing but stare at the destruction these parents
were commemorating. I should have drawn their attention to what they
day I hope this little girl will come across these photos and explain
to her now-elderly parents that these poppies were for everyone.