Being a kid in the country meant being free to do what I wanted pretty much all of the time. Unless I was at school or had chores to tend to. I grew up in a small rural town in California. Most people think of California as one long coastline where everyone has a year round tan. But California is far more than that. It actually has farmland, my Dad had a dairy farm and grew rice.
Surrounding my childhood home there are fields. Growing up we were told that having land mattered. If you had land you could live. Heck with a patch of dirt, seeds and water at least you would never starve. Knowing my Dad had land, that he knew how to farm and that my Mom knew how to cook. Hard work, food and love went hand in hand. We had plenty of the three.
As a child growing up on a farm I took for granted the freedom that the land had to offered. The wide space to run around and play. I took for granted the daily lessons of nature. Most often I didn't realize the soothing sound of silence during the day. These natural parts of my day seemed unimportant until I went to the urban side of the world. Though the moment I went to live in the city where my feet touched cement instead of the earth, where the sun and moon weren't visible at a glance but often peering between buildings, reducing seasons to simple words; too hot or too cold. I realized how lucky I was to have experienced dirt underneath my feet. The country become my "Emerald City." The lessons I gathered rose strong within me.
My French Husband grew up in Rennes, a city in Northern France. His work is in investing in urban developments, the land of concrete buildings. Far away are his city experiences from my growing up on a farm.
When we were first married we lived in Paris. As beautiful as it was the moment my feet touched the dry earthy ground of Provence I knew then I could call France a home. Of course it helps to have French Husband by my side, even if he isn't a farmer...
Thirty years in France. I have lived longer in France than in California, that reality is a landscape full of mountain tops, valleys, rivers, dry land, architect, monuments and a blue sea.
Isn't it funny how at times we can look back and see a connection, see a vague cosmic order. As if a string ties this to that, and makes us say, "Isn't that funny?" How life unfolds.
Where are you today?