He loves me. He loves me not. Maybe you remember saying this as you snapped each petal from a flower, one by one. Your adolescent love life rested on the whims of a flower, and whether you landed on “loves me,” or “loves me not” as you pulled that last petal. We were so close then to understanding that there is a flower love language, and that there is so much more to it than a chance number of petals would determine.
As you got older, perhaps that flower love language came more into focus when you bought flowers for someone special. Or someone special bought flowers for you. Even so, that language goes much deeper.
In Forget Me Not, Cathy Gornick shares just how special a flower love language is when, as a young girl, she found “some small blue flowers” on an adventure in the woods. When she brought them to her mom, she found out they were called forget-me-nots, and they just happened to be her grandmother’s favorite flower. If you ask me, any flower that’s a favorite through generations is something worth celebrating.
This story reminds us that love is something to share and appreciate with those special people in our lives, and we can celebrate it in the simplest of ways.
There Is Indeed a Flower Love Language and You Can Find It In Many More Stories Like This One
This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years, and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that turn stories of healing gardens into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope this story does for you as well. Enjoy!
Forget Me Not
A flower and a plea.
By Cathy Gornick
As I get older, I look back on my childhood and all the outdoor adventures my siblings and I were so fortunate to share. We were able to ramble and explore the woods and fields near our home, and one of my fondest memories brings me to my first love of flowers.
One day, while walking along the railroad tracks, we came across a path that led to a very old cemetery. Wildflowers grew among the gravestones, and we read the names and dates out loud and wondered who they were. We even made up stories about their lives.
I remember seeing some small blue flowers. They were delicate and looked so pretty among the white and yellow ones. I thought of Mom, and how she would love a bouquet of all these flowers. When I presented them to her, she smiled with glee—and then asked if I knew their names. I hadn’t even considered that they had names. I just thought they were pretty. She smiled again and began to tell me what they were called. At the time, I was only intrigued by the tiny blue ones. I thought, What a wonderful name, forget-me-not. She told me they were my grandmother’s favorite flower, which made them even more special.
On my next visit to Grandma’s, she sent me off to explore her yard. Sure enough, there they were: forget-me-nots, growing along the side of her house. Maybe because I was always so excited to see Grandma and explore all the treasures in her house and attic, I had always raced past these little blue beauties.
Many years have passed since Grandma had to leave us. When I got a garden at my own home, a dear friend gave me a patch of wild forget-me-nots. They are now sprinkled throughout all my gardens and always bring a smile and warm feelings.
Mom has reached a time in her life that recalling and remembering are difficult. When she looks at me now and our eyes connect, I see the same blue color as the flowers. As we look in each other’s eyes, we are searching for each other, and we are both thinking:
“Please, forget me not.” ❖
By Cathy Gornick, published originally in 2020, in GreenPrints Issue #129. Illustrated by Patricia Savage
Do you have a favorite flower that you’ve shared with loved ones through generations? I’d love to read about it in the comments!
When I see pansies, I remember the year I was about three years old. My grandma planted pansies in a large cement pot in her backyard and told me they were for me! I smiled at their beautiful yellow and purple “faces”, knowing that she loved me best.