You see, Europe is full of delightful views to take in. From the cobblestone streets, to the arched doorways, to the bright neon colored buildings, to the clean laundry out to dry. Sights that make you quite giddy are just around every corner.
This past month, I went on a three week journey with a dear friend of mine. She wears red lip stick, uses peoples middle names, and dresses in the cutest of clothes. Her favorite flowers are poppies, and no matter which of the 20 something trains we took throughout Europe, we always looked out the window and saw wild poppies growing with bright color and great determination.
Needless to say, what honestly caught my attention the most was not necessarily the architectural scenery, but these possibly insignificant flowers. They might’ve been considered weeds there, growing in every crevice they thought available, whether fields, gardens, driveways, and my personal favorite, cracked sidewalks. I use the word determination to describe their ability to grow because they literally would sprout up right in the middle of a sidewalk crack that doesn’t appear to have any of the supplies necessary for growth. Sometimes they were alone, sometimes they had a companion to join them. No matter the amount or the location, they spread life and light in the most unlikely spots.
Call me cheesy or call me someone who reads into things, but poppies have quite a bit to say about life. The thing about poppies is they serve their purpose without complaint of location or supplies. Their color is as bright as my friends lip stick, even amidst a millimeter wide sidewalk crack that rarely tastes water. I think I want to be someone who delights in my purpose even when the circumstances say I shouldn’t. When I find myself in a spot that seems suffocating, closing up around me, may my purpose to soak in the light of my Father remain enough to sustain me. Not just sustain me, but provide joy even there! The circumstance doesn’t hinder the purpose, the purpose shines upon the circumstance and transforms the outlook. Don’t give your circumstances more power than they deserve.
So, who would’ve thought one of my main take away’s from traveling across Europe would have to do with poppies…Well, sometimes the little details grab a hold of your attention and memory more strongly than anything else. Be on the look out for those details, and you might just find yourself more attentive to the One who divinely ordains the details, and cares for the poppies.
words by Kylie Hultgren and photo by Nicole Lamkin