At Play in the Fields of Forget-Me-Nots

It’s May and I’ve just shoved on my gardening boots, but not before tucking the legs of my overhauls into my socks the way my neighbor taught me to do, to form a barrier against insects. Rain clouds are pressing north and away from us, and as they go, a pleasant blanket of sunshine washes over the lawn. I’m yanking out bunches of wild watercress that have, once again, overtaken our pond—a five-by-five foot breeding ground for bullfrogs, snapping turtles, and other prehistoric-looking creatures. Nosegays of wildflowers, encouraged by the warming temperatures, punctuate the moss-covered rocks with brilliant color bursts.

I recognize the blue blossoms as Forget-Me-Nots—or Myosotis—but I don’t know the names of any others.

The name Forget-Me-Not comes from the French ne m’oubliez pas, and was first used in English in c. 1532. Legend has it that in medieval times, a love-struck knight fell into a river while picking wildflowers for his lady, and was dragged to his death because of the weight of his armor. As he was drowning, the doomed knight threw the flowers to his lover, shouting “forget-me-not!” Needless to say, this story gives these common blossoms a more tragically romantic appearance.

Don’t forget to smell the flowers this weekend!

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
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10 Responses to At Play in the Fields of Forget-Me-Nots

  1. Karen says:

    Your photos are terrific…a lovely way to start the weekend. Thanks for sharing.

    • Smallpeace says:

      Flowers always have a way of lifting the spirits, don’t they? I hope you have a chance to take in a little nature wherever you are this weekend. Enjoy!

      • Karen says:

        It is supposed to be a great weekend here in New Hampshire and I will be outside working in my orchard. I hope yours will be pleasant as well.

  2. Smallpeace says:

    A whole orchard, Karen? How divine. We have one ancient apple tree that I lovingly spray with organic neem oil in late winter to help discourage moths and other destructive pests. We’ve tried our hand at pruning and have had some luck coaxing her to fruit again. But a whole orchard? You are a rich woman.

  3. Touch2Touch says:

    Enjoy the peace at Smallpeace. The flowers are gorgeous —
    Who could possibly forget the heavenly blue of forget-me-nots? They don’t need a legend, just their color alone will suffice.

  4. Smallpeace says:

    It’s true, T2T, and so easy to see why Henry IV chose to wear these flowers into battle. Such a regal blue.

  5. alanna1992 says:

    Very nice pix, and interesting derivation on the forget-me-nots. You were probably tucking your pants into your socks to prevent ticks, which, by the way, are arachnids, not insects.

    • Smallpeace says:

      Arthropods, arachnids, bees, wasps, fire ants, ticks, daddy long legs (which are not, I am told, arachnids, but rather insects), it’s a veritable jungle out there for a new gardener! Whether they sting or not, I don’t want them crawling up my pant leg, thank you! Thanks for the biology tip, Alanna.

  6. Alisa says:

    love the backstory of the forget-me-nots! Smallpeace takes me away for a moment in my hectic day and I so appreciate it. Thank you!

    • Smallpeace says:

      Oh, Alisa, providing just the tiniest little escape is all I’d ever hoped to achieve with Smallpeace, so thank you for saying that. Hope you’re well, my friend. xo

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