Julia Plevin

Poppies close at night

Julia Plevin
Poppies close at night

“Do you know poppies close at night?” I said, diverting the conversation. It’s spring and poppies are blooming all over. They do this every year but I feel particularly attuned and connected to them this season.

We were on the phone and I was walking by a park in San Francisco looking at the flowers. He was asking if something had triggered me that Saturday night when I left his party and I didn’t want to go there. I didn’t want to open my heart to him and share my vulnerability. It wasn’t so much that I was triggered as much as the cacao had an intense effect on me. Cacao, the seemingly delicious drink, is a potent heart-opener that aids in healing but can be so uncomfortable. I’ve walked around with a shell around my heart for so long because it feels safer than to really feel, to really express. When I drink cacao, this shell melts and I feel as if I’m naked in a room full of people. If I’m not feeling held and supported and loved, I get self-conscious. Sometimes sad. I often cry. This is the healing work.

The cacao told me to leave immediately. That I needed to get out of there. I needed to leave his birthday party. I needed to heal myself from this unhealthy relationship.

“Yes of course. Flowers open to the sun and so they close when there’s no sun.” He said it like this was so obvious.

But of course. I am the flower. The feminine is the flower. Just going about life until the sun shines his light on her. She feels witnessed. Seen. She opens up and blooms in his presence. Her layers peel back and she can flourish, finally.

And then the sun diverts his attention. Onto the next thing. The next woman. The next flower. Oh the pain of feeling this loss is almost enough to make the flower never want to open again. But there’s not as much beauty in a tightly shut flower, closed off to the elements. And so this flower is left with just the memory of what it felt like, trying to make sense of what just happened, probably overanalyzing and swapping stories with all the other wildflowers.

The sun sets and rises. It can’t be noon forever. There’s sunny days and cloudy days. Summer and winter. Cycles of life and love.

Does the flower stay open through it all? Trusting that the sun will again shine its light? How do I keep opening my heart?

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