When I was a little girl my father taught me a very valuable lesson. Once in a while he would have lots of trimmings from our yard that needed to be disposed of and could not be taken by the garbage truck. He would gather branches and twigs and his three children and off we would go to the dump.
Where I grew up, in Sacramento, California the dump was near the railroad tracks. My little brothers and I loved to go play near the tracks with my father watching us. In the spring we would see the beautiful orange poppies all around it. I loved them and of course wanted to pick some. My father explained that the poppy was our state flower and that they grow wild all around our state. He then told us that it was against the law to pick them. He explained that if every person in California picked just one they would all be gone.
I wanted to pick one so badly but I never did. My Dad helped me to learn that even when we don't understand a rule or law we need to obey. He helped me to learn that sometime what I want is not for the good of others. He helped me to see that laws are to protect the common good and that I needed to be community minded.
Whenever I see the California poppies in bloom each spring, I am thankful for these lessons and so happy to see they still grow everywhere in our beautiful state. I must admit I still always want to pick one but I have never done so. My father taught me the importance of obedience in this simple way and I have never forgotten it. I am grateful for a father that knew what was best and told me to do it.
Because of him I will never pick a California Poppy...not even one.