Periwinkle, violets, primroses and cowslip, a few forget-me-nots. This is what you picked, 135 years ago, and this is what I picked, today, 1500km away, but close to you, in my heart. I have been thinking of you, as I always do when I flip through your herbarium that you started with in 1884, sixteen years old, and when I see certain dates and certain flowers.
You didn’t know that I would read your notes and admire your posies more than a hundred years later when you gathered all those flowers on your walks in Haute-Savoie. And you didn’t know that your beautiful herbarium would be of such an inspiration to me.
Sometimes I wonder what remains. When we post about all those walks on our blogs, on Instagram, when we share photos of picnics in the green, of spring days, of bouquets we have picked. Will someone sit and admire all those many photos and think of us, 135 years later? Will someone say: You inspired me so much and I wish I could have followed you on your walks on rocky mountain paths, through meadows and fields?
I wonder. And once again I am so grateful I can meet you every now and then, dear Hélène. Thank you for the inspiration.
[I often find myself flipping through this herbarium, thinking of Hélène Rück and her walks. Ten years ago, I found this album with pressed flowers in an antiquarian book shop in Leipzig, Germany. I have no idea how it ended up there, hidden in in a dusty box under piles of old books. I don’t know much about the girl who filled all the pages with her memories, only that she spent a lot of her holidays together with her family in Saint Gervais, France. To the day, the 19th of April 1885, Hélène picked a bouquet of wildflowers on a spring walk that she documented in her little album.]