Lately, I have been dreaming of Paris.
It’s not your typical “I need to escape my reality” type dreaming. I dream of a happier life and a wish come true. A softer reality finally come to fruition…for someone else. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now don’t get me wrong. If my life looked differently than it does, or if I had chosen a different path, I’d love to be in France myself. Italy. England. But it’s not my place right now, and I love my life enough not to mind. But someone I know and dearly love recently made the enormous decision to uproot and move to Paris to fulfill a lifelong dream. And it’s been an unforgettable experience to be on the sidelines, cheering her on. Do I miss her? Wholeheartedly. But I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
With every photo she sends along, every little update, every email…I feel a weight lift. For we all feel weight when our closest friends are suffering, don’t we? Well, this friend had walked a difficult enough path that to see her glowing in photos in Paris – well, it’s heavenly.
My husband and I make bets on how long she will stay. Will it be a few months as originally planned? Or will it evolve into a new life? No matter what happens going forward, it won’t change the fact that she actually did it. She will always have the glow of Paris, and a lighter step than had been hers for many months before she left.
I sent her a note to check out a museum where Monet’s water lilies can be found. My son studied Monet in his preschool last year, and has even practiced some watercolours and reproductions of Monet’s work. (You haven’t met a serious four year old until you meet one who tells you “Claude Monet died in 1846. And I miss him.”) And in a lovely coincidence, she had just been to the museum in question, and sent us a few photos of Monet’s water lilies. My son was amazed.
I love what this trip is doing and will do for her. I love what it does for my life by association. Although I may not be there to see it with her, our shared road will always include this amazing experience. And when she shares it with my son, she helps me teach him that the world is a small place after all, and everything he is curious about is right there for him to see. He will grow up knowing that he can go anywhere he wants.
And that’s a priceless lesson for us all to learn.