DISCLAIMER: This picture is not how it appears.
A peaceful moment in a poppy field on a sunny Southern California day? More like Poppygeddon, or as I like to call it, the Great Poppy Pilgrimage of 2019. I say “pilgrimage” in the sense that I realized later I’d followed a biblical mandate to “consider how the wildflowers grow” (Luke 12:27, NIV). It’s a passage exhorting peacefulness as you let go of control.
“Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? … If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?” (Luke 12:27-31, MSG).
While the poppies may not have been fussing over appearances, we certainly were. Got to “get it for the ’gram,” this rare phenomenon of flowers overtaking hills. Oddly, the photograph became the destination, the representation more desirable than its purest form.
And so I got some good shots, and felt my anxiety grow. It hadn’t been easy to get here—bad GPS directions and hours of traffic. Now, fields of influencers and their followers, more plentiful than the flowers that had attracted them, really filling the frame. Somehow social media had missed that. (This is not a commentary on trampled poppy fields. Though I am sorry.) Rather, this is a confession that my social media posts are not always as they appear. What looks peaceful might not be. And when that’s true, I might still post what’s false, so forgive me as I attempt to add some beauty in this corner of an increasingly fictional world.
Still, I had fun with my friends. I’ll never do it again. But I’m glad I did once, if only to say considering the wildflowers—and considering others scramble up hillsides to sit and be seen among them—taught me true peace is often found in receiving, rather than recording, the experience. So here’s to those friends who experienced it with me—few pictures, if any, taken of our drive, our snacks and sunburns, our Juicy Fruit bubbles blown as bumper-to-bumper we sat. I consider what was beautiful, and find joy and peace in that. - 18 minutes ago