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Cornstalks & Trumpet Flowers


My name is Ellie Marie, creator of Poppy Hayoun. Here you will find posts about my life, things I love, recipes, advice, and wonderment.  Poppy Hayoun represents the idea that everything embodies meaning, every idea can change the course of life, and that all life exemplifies the really living Truth. I am Poppy Hayoun.

I hope you enjoy reading, as much as I enjoy sharing.

Everything Embodies Meaning

That concept is not easy to incorporate into a daily modern life. It’s much easier to decide which ideas, objects, peoples, and responsibilities hold “real meaning” in our lives, instead of considering that everything embodies meaning. Too often we discard things that through countless conveniences we have alleviated ourselves of the need for interaction with and emotion from. Shame. Only in those moments of true interaction and emotion do we feel each other on this planet. Each day we manufacture new conveniences that are supposed to make our lives less stressful and afford us more time to do what we really love. But really it seems that each day there is more to consume and less to digest. Conveniences can be perceived as the antonym of creature comforts. Often we feel uncomfortable being encouraged by countless industries to replace that well-worn standard with something that can clean your house and brew your tea for you but invokes no feeling whatsoever. That is my own feeling on the matter, most days. But when I do open myself up to change and progress, I consider that perhaps each convenience should be allowing more time for ingenuity and opportunity. I am reminded that “Everything in moderation; including moderation”. There is a balance to all things. Every convenience can be used for benefit or for sloth. The journey is finding that balance: How can I use this to benefit myself and others? Why should I give up the old for something new, merely because it’s new? To what extent do I allow convenience to influence my way of life? Allowing yourself to assume responsibility for what you are consuming can make dearer the most intimate loves (read: creature comforts) in your life by comparison of composition and meaning.

The Start is in the Beginning

Perhaps not everything deserves “meaning”; maybe just understanding, appreciation, or respect. Those are beautiful words. These words can develop in us from the beginning. Do you remember when you were awed by something as a child? Something simple, but significant. I can recall a morning when I and my two older siblings dashed into the tall summer corn fields in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where I was born. Dashing like freed sheep from a pen, looking for adventure and an escape from the farm house we had spent too many months in during the harsh winter. Pressing through the tall stalks, pushing our way into the eternal corn field, remembering a faint echo of mother’s voice warning us of getting lost in the fields. Running and tramping. Breathing and stretching small muscles. Suddenly, like rushing into an empty room, we three burst into a flattened area about six feet in circumference, corn stalks still warm to the touch. We sat and crouched for a moment in silent appreciation of this deer family’s day-time hideaway. A sanctuary. I was awed. Awed by the might of the deer to flatten the corn stalks that grew several feet above my own head. Awed by their need for a resting place, just as I too needed my bed at night. Perhaps it had been a mother and her babies, seeking a restful bed after a long night of prosperous scavenging. How easy to appreciate their wonder! They were like me but more splendid in my mind, for they made their bed with each day a new hideaway.

Trumpet Flowers

Years later when my father’s job relocated my family to Houston, Texas, there was no shortage of nature, adventures, and new ideas to appreciate on our land and in our new big house. One humid, sweaty afternoon I followed behind my brother, as I always did during the years we were home together. We headed for the deep, dangerous jungle that was our acre lot. Already we had discovered dangerous spiders, cotton-mouth snakes, curious moles, mud pits, poison ivy, crawdads, grubs, and the spiky metal knots on top of the chain-link fence. None of these could dissuade us from exploring new territories, with new evils and towering old trees. Me in my pink sun dress and he dressed as boys of seven are wont to do, he helped me over the back fence with a boost up and a reminder not to be a baby about the scratches from those metal knots. He followed over the fence without assistance, a skill I had not yet acquired. And there. There we were, on the other side of the fence, far far away from home. In no one’s territory. Onward towards the deeper jungle of untouched Houston nature. The “jungle” floor was covered in a stratum of thick decaying leaves that enveloped your feet with each step, promising the chance of a spider or two crawling in between my sandal straps. Giant fallen trees, too old to continue standing, lay collapsed and rotting on the ground changing the topography of the jungle floor with their trunk and boughs. Tramping with no direction or destination, we wandered until we happened on a clearing. There, again, I was struck. Awed. A massive oak tree, or perhaps it was a pine, stood tall, supporting half a tunnel of supple bright orange trumpet flowers, the other half of the tunnel resting on a smaller less worthy cluster of trees. The trumpet flowers had grown so thickly they created a mossy darkness within the tunnel. I knew that must have been the way to Narnia or to a dried limestone creek bed with little lizard and flower fossils. It didn’t matter, the absolute might of the tree, the soft, secret darkness of the tunnel, and the sweet musky smell of the orange trumpet flowers captured all my senses. Captivating me even now, though it is far into the reaches of my memory.

Without those trumpet flowers or the warm flattened corn stalks, two moments of appreciation and respect for “simpler things” wouldn’t have guided my understanding of meaning. What do these things we see, touch, hear, and smell mean? Whether grown in nature or wrought by man’s hands, what is their purpose here on earth? Dig, listen, expose, and appreciate that they are all gifts.

Gifts with meaning.

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