Greetings from a cold and rainy Valencia day, where we are huddled inside having a relaxing Sunday. Strawberry scones enjoyed with delicious coffee beans hand delivered from our special guest from America’s Heartland…YES! This morning we sent said special guest Janette off on the fast speed train to Madrid, where she will return to Chicago. Sending a friend back to America always leaves me thinking about things on the other side of the pond.
Many of you know the expression “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This is something well known around here among people, like us and many of you, that live in some way or form, between two worlds. This has been a hot topic of conversation with some of our other friends here that are also in some form of movement between two worlds. Maybe you live between two cultures, two cities, two homes, two professions. For Jesus and I it’s all of the above. Being the more sensitive and emotional explorer of us, I am always the one pondering this situation, and wondering what I can possibly do to stop missing the essence of San Francisco, or some small specific American/Californian/Wisconsinite obscure thing. Will I ever stop wondering why I cannot have cottage cheese (I would list more cheese types here but I’m embarrassed), bagels, coffee to go,? Will I ever stop complaining about this? Perhaps.
Perhaps the key is replacing “The grass is always greener” with another mentality, that my oh-so-wise cousin Layla M. posted on Facebook the other day: “Bloom where you are planted.” She went on to further explain; “There is also something to be said for the adaptability of a species. I always think this when I see a strong and powerful tree growing out of a rocky embankment. Not ideal. The wrong angle, the wrong soil, and not a lot of support around it. But yet, it manages to thrive.” DUH, what an interesting point of view. Instead of thinking about that darn green grass on the other side, be a strong and powerful tree growing out of a rocky, perhaps not so perfect place. Especially because that not so perfect place has some pretty amazing features that one day you might find yourself missing terribly.
I googled the expression to see what else I could find out about this fascinating idea. I couldn’t find the original wise mind that it comes from (Layla suggests its an old proverb), but I did see one cool thing. A group of American women living in Paris started a group at an American church in Paris called just that: “Bloom where you are planted, how to live in Paris.” They have seminars, for new-comers to Paris, about adapting to all aspects of life in their new city, everything from French wine appreciation to navigating the French Healthcare system. (http://www.acparis.org/community-activities/bloom-where-youre-planted) This group helps you create connections and build roots in order that you can bloom right there, just where you are planted. What a brilliant idea!
So begins my own version, to remember more to enjoy everything that Valencia, Spain, and our little corner of the world have to offer. To remember these things every day, be grateful, and share it with you. Maybe I can also give you a little idea, plant a seed, to help you do the same, wherever it may be that you are currently planted.