This Girl's Dream

I'm not sure why I haven't written in the past month.  In that time I've seen beautiful Cadaques Spain, the house where Salvador Dali lived, and Collioure France on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I've climbed another hill or two, explored a few more little French towns, taken two French cooking lessons, gone to the outdoor market several times, spoken more French, and attended an inspirational presentation, in French, where I heard a local artist (my landlady) describe her development as an artist over the course of her 50 some years of life.  Today, I was asked by three different French people if I live here.  “Vous habitez ici”?  I think it’s cool that they asked.  And, I think they think it’s OK that I do.

Sometimes, just the very fact that I am living this dream of mine is overwhelming in and of itself.  It’s hard to describe how happy I am.  My thanks to my sixth grade teacher, Kathleen Crouch goes unheard because she has been out of my life for so long, and quite possibly, she’s no longer living at all (it’s tough to google a spinster teacher from the 50’s). I remember her telling us about France in that sixth grade class like it was yesterday.  She had lived here and loved it, and so took it upon herself to teach us French and inspire at least one of us to live in France for a while.  My gratitude to her is immense, not only for planting that dream, but for showing me that girls could be adventurous.  I remember the hot and humid day she rode her bicycle to my house to pay a visit in the summer after sixth grade.  My mother, caught by surprise I’m sure, made delicious lemonade from scratch; yup, from real lemons, for the three of us to drink while seated on our shady front porch in the rattan chairs.  I’d had no idea my mother could make lemonade that way and I don’t think she ever did it again.  I remember my mother and Miss Crouch talking and the wonder I felt at the realization that, outside of class, Miss Crouch was a real person.  I thought she was pretty cool for riding over on her bike like that – I didn’t know a single other grown woman who rode a bike.  So, yes, Kathleen Crouch fueled my dreams.

So, here I am because of Miss Crouch, really.  I’m not nearly as brave as she was.  After all, this is the 21st century, and I’m in France, not exactly another planet as it might have seemed in the early 50’s when she was here.

I confess that to maintain my dreamworld, I only sneak peeks at the news, like I’m hiding behind a door and don’t really want to open it all the way and see what’s happening out there in the world.  But I do know what's out there and in the face of my good fortune and happiness, in the past week, I, like so many others, including you I am sure, have felt grief and helplessness about the horrific tragedy in Japan.  None of us can really imagine the immense and interminable pain of losing one’s entire family, a home, everything, including every dream we ever had, and perhaps not being able to summon the strength to ever dream of a bright future again.

Peeking out a day or two ago, I heard of a four month old baby girl who was found in the rubble of the tsunami, alive; a miracle in the midst of the devastation.  I felt a stab of hope for her; it hit my heart like a big surprise.  I’d like that little girl to know that this girl is dreaming that a Kathleen Crouch will come into her young life, that she will have a good life with lots of happy adventures.  And that she'll be brave and able to make her dreams come true, too. 




it's great that you're living your dream, but can you get marshmallow Peeps over there?

I loved reading this post. I am truly happy for you & that you are living your dream!

Love from Julie

Julie Gehring

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