Once upon a time, there was a tiny village nestled in an emerald-green valley. Of all the children in the village, Sarah, Owen, and Paul were the best of friends. They did all the things you can imagine country children doing: in the Summer they fished and swam in the river; in Autumn they told secrets in the tree fort; in Winter they built snowmen and raced down white hills on sleds; and in Spring they caught frogs and got delightfully muddy.
Sarah could have been mistaken for one of the boys, and was often the dirtiest and bravest of the three. But there was one thing girlie about her: she loved flowers. Her mother let her keep a small corner of the garden where she tended herbs, peas, and pumpkins. But especially flowers.
Owen and Paul teased her for liking flowers, but not too much. She was, after all, a girl.
As they grew older, and Sarah grew more beautiful, both Owen and Paul couldn't help but fall in love with her. Of course, neither of the boys said anything. Though each carried a burning hope in their heart that some day, Sarah would fall in love with them, and be their wife.
Eventually they were all too old for netting butterflies and catching tadpoles in mason jars, and so it happened that they saw less and less of one another. Owen went to work on a ranch, while Paul went to study law in a near by town. It was pretty lonely in the little village, and nothing much happened, so Sarah decided to be adventurous and travel accross the ocean to a distant land. And there she stayed.
The three friends wrote letters to one another as the years passed. Paul grew very wealthy, while Owen worked very hard for very little. Both remained secretly in love with Sarah. And both were heartbroken when they received letters from Sarah, telling them that she had grown very ill.
She told them that she missed the emerald green valley, the little village, and her family. She missed Owen and Paul, and thought of their childhood with such fondness. And she said that there was one flower from her home country which she longed to see, which did not grow where she lived now. She couldn't remember the name of the flower anymore, it was so long ago. But she said that it was blue, and very special.
Paul immediately notified his assistants to find all the special and rare blue flowers in the country. One by one he sent them, very tediously packaged in glass, to Sarah, who lay in her bed by the window. One by one she opened them...wild orchids, irises, and flowers so rare that hardly anyone knew their name.
'No,' she wrote to Paul each time a new flower arrived, wilting from the long journey overseas. 'This isn't the flower I mean.'
Again Paul would have his assistants pour over books, modern and ancient, to find every rare blue flower in the country. Again he would have the specimens packaged in glass, and send them off on ships where people were payed in gold to tend to them carefully. But to no avail. Paul grew very impatient and bitter, and concluded that Sarah must have lost her mind. There existed no such rare blue flower!
Meanwhile, Owen had put together all of his meager savings and boarded a ship headed for the far-away country where Sarah lived. He had hardly more than the clothes on his back. He didn't even know how he would pay for the journey back home. But he knew he had to see Sarah again.
Finally he arrived, half starved and quite filthy from the long journey at sea. He hurried to her bedside where she lay, pale and listless, but very happy to see him.
"Owen....it's you," she whispred. "You've come all this way!"
They spoke of their memories, talked and laughed long into the night. The more she laughed, the more color shone on Sarah's cheeks. Eventually the sun began to rise, and Owen remembered something.
"Sarah, I brought you something from the little emerald valley. It's not much..." He opened her palm and poured something out a small leather pouch. Sarah leaned and strained her eyes.
"What are they, Owen?" She asked.
"Forget-me-not seeds," he replied. "I remember how much you loved them in your little garden. I thought maybe you could try to grow them here."
Sarah wept. "Forget-me-nots! Yes, these are the ones. These are the flowers I have missed so much. You remembered."
Owen stayed with Sarah and nursed her to health. He planted forget-me-not seeds in pots and barrels and window boxes where they flourished. And one day, Sarah and Owen married.
When word of this came to Paul, he was furious.
'Forget-me-nots?! But you said the flower was special! Forget-me-nots are as good as a weed! They are neither rare, nore are they special!'
'They are special,' Sarah wrote back. 'They are special to me.'
xoxo country girl