forget-me-not

Nothing loved is ever truly lost.

forget-me-not
forget-me-not, by Alexandra Becker

Forget-me-not (myosotis sylvatica) gets its botanical name from the shape of its leaves: myosotis, from the Greek μυοσωτίς, or ‘mouse’s ear’. Myosotis sylvatica means mouse ear of the woods, a charming name for a small but mighty flower.

Over the years, many tales have been told about its common name: a drowning man threw the flower to his lover, crying out “forget me not!”  – or the flower itself called out “forget me not!” when all the other flowers were being named. Henry Bolingbroke reputedly adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained it on his return to England in 1399, when he was crowned King Henry IV.

All these stories carry with them a sense of loss. And, unsurprisingly, the flower is symbolic throughout Europe of faithful love in spite of loss, love which endures absence and separation. Hilderic Friend, in his 1884 book Flower Lore, wrote that ‘the forget-me-not is still worked into rings and other ornaments for wearing on the person, and in all the European languages bears a name similar in meaning to our own.’

The flower speaks:

All the things you have lost or left behind – old friends and lovers, family members, childhood pets, long-forgotten dreams, old hobbies, homes and landscapes – are part of you still. Remember them. Find them in yourself.

Consider strength: it can be found in unlikely-looking places. The juice of my mouse-ear leaves was used to strengthen steel.

Sit with your pain, with your sense of loss. Understand it. It will never go away, but it can transform, and it will transform you. You have strength enough.

My gifts are memories, leading you beyond the pain of grief to the place where love lives on.

Nothing loved is ever truly lost.

And in writing this blog post, I thought of a song which puts it perfectly:

No one’s ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are

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Author: angharadlois

"I'm only interested in everything."

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