As I begin to write this … my countdown app on my phone tells me it’s 42 days, 16 minutes and 37 seconds to planting at the AWM.
It’s such a long way from when we met with Dr. Brendan Nelson at our tribute at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show back in June 2016 and such a long way from our humble beginnings in 2013 to now. And now we are on the verge, and I am beyond excited.
When we started 5000 Poppies back in June 2013 … Marg and I were musing over a glass or two of Pinot (as you do) about the things we might do with the 5000 Poppies Project, but one of the things we most wanted was for our little project to find it’s way, somehow, in some way, to the Australian War Memorial at the end.
So much has happened between then and now. So many beautiful tribute installations, so many wonderful people to meet, and so many unbelievably generous and creative contributors … it’s hard to fathom, when you are in the thick of doing!!!!!
So now … 42 days, 10 minutes and 59 seconds to planting … and I am musing over the people I’ve met along the way, the generous souls who spend their days both with me at PHQ and in many other places to make this huge undertaking a reality … who come to poppy workshops and workdays, and who have sent in or dropped off their poppies to the many locations that have offered to act as collection points over the journey … and those who have been our guardian angels when we needed something … and my thoughts go to the many, many thousands of poppies that have arrived in our post office box and on my doorstep over the last five years … imbued with love and honour and respect for those who have served … living and dead. And I am reminded of the beautiful, sad woman who made poppies for Fed Square in honour of her son, an Afghanistan veteran, who had taken his own life just weeks before. Her heart was so broken and we cried together when we met at Fed Square. And then there was the beautiful elderly, stooped man in Fromelles who stood there with his wife sobbing with one of our beautiful poppies in his hand, because he could not understand how or why so many thousands of people would take the time create such a beautiful tribute to the fallen and he was remembering his comrades who had fallen in the Algerian War.
I don’t remember names, there are so many … but those and many other things about this project have touched my core … and remind me that what we are doing and what we have done … is SO important on so many levels.
I’ve always thought of the 5000 Poppies team as a tribe … and I think that’s probably the right description … we are definitely bonded together in this magnificent endeavour …
See you in Canberra
41 days, 23 hours, 51 minutes, 40 seconds.
Tick, tick, tick