Consider the Lilies

Stuart and I have are going through our transition, finally living in the same house (and country!). I mentioned in my last blog how everything here is so discombobulating and unfamiliar. I don’t have my own space or my own anything really…just a lot of old control issues about my environment to work through. For Stuart, my discomfort has often been interpreted as a sign of my displeasure with him and a symbol of impending doom…that is, until I find a youtube of Pharrell Williams’ Happy, and we dance around the house to shake our blues.

When I first arrived in France, Stuart had a lovely Lily of the Valley plant, a fragrant little flower that sings a sweet Spring song of hope, waiting for me that filled his somewhat dark house with an uplifting scent. (Traditionally in France, May Day is celebrated with sprigs of Lily of the Valley (or Muguet), said to be a good luck charm.) I slept with it at the bedside, so I could take in its fragrance all night long.

Perhaps that wasn’t the best place for it, though, because soon, the plant began to show signs of withering, dropping gray little bell-shaped blossoms at the foot of the nightstand. I looked up on the internet how best to care for the plant and realized it probably needed more light and water. Unbeknownst to me, Stuart also came to the conclusion that it needed more water. Between the two of us, we probably managed to overdo it. It probably wasn’t getting enough light either. So I moved it near the front door only to move it back to the bedstand at night in my desire to dream with its perfume. Here, Stuart noticed it drooping and moved it again to the kitchen windowsill.

There it sits…slightly yellowed and droopy. Like the lilies, when I first arrived. I found myself slightly droopy, trying to find equilibrium in my new environment.

I consider the Lilies (ha ha). They require a certain environment to thrive. They need the right light, water, and temperature. Too much or too little of something, and they wither. It’s just the way it is. There is no one to blame for this fact. It isn’t a lack of lily will-power. Without the right environment, they simply cannot survive.

I not only want to survive here, I want to thrive. As of yet, I don’t quite know how to get what I need. Figuring that out is part of the process. I am doing what I can to adjust to the new light,), the new temperatures (cold but getting warmer!), the “bachelor pad” (sorely in need of a woman’s touch), the available self-care (and lack of tub…my favorite retreat). And I suppose that I have more going for me than a plant. I am much more adaptable. Still, the trail of petals in my wake might give me away from time to time. I feel like I’m walking through sludge much of the time. Everything takes longer and there’s so much to sort out. It’s a bizarre process, this path of the heart. It doesn’t make sense; it isn’t supposed to, perhaps.

Ultimately, I want to understand what it is I need to feel nurtured here and then find ways to give it to myself. So far, I am enjoying the enjoying of being with my Honey, laughing, my driving lessons, daily walks, lots of tea, the space heater, and my rare interactions with the French species. I am not enjoying the pollen (itchy, watery, squinty), our temporary residence, and a general lack of sleep whether brought on by an occasionally snoring hubby or too hard mattress.

But, if I can just be patient, there is a great excitement to reinventing myself. Things are already happening. I’m starting to meet like-minded people (though they are not all that close), finding lots of opportunities to create, discovering new things including things about myself, and cleaning/rearranging furniture to help make the environment flow. Sure, some days get to me. I get scared. I forget to love myself. I forget to appreciate Stuart. I forget to accept. I forget it’s all my choice, and my leaves droop. But with a little self-care, a little self-forgiveness, a little love, a little time, thinks perk up.