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Thursday 12 April 2012: And now, my beauties...

The poppies were a surprise after we moved into our house five years ago. A previous owner must have planted them. Each spring when they emerge, I admire their delicate beauty and find myself reminded of the time I lived in Afghanistan, how I didn't see any poppies when I first arrived in 2002; but during the following year, in the countryside where Alexander the Great once roamed, small plots began to appear. The poppies, a different variety then mine, sprinkled vivid color against the muted landscape. But it was not beauty that inspired the poor and exploited farmers to seed their fields - it was survival. And I wondered then, as I do now, how such beautiful flowers can cast such dark shadows.

"And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep!"
-Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard of Oz

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