One summer we went on a bit of a castle tour. We made the mistake, I suppose, of going to the Château de Chambord first, the largest castle in the world. And it was, to say the least, quite impressive. Stunningly beautiful. Each corner perfection. The gardens impeccable. We strolled into different lives – a movie being made, couples arguing, children laughing – each section a different world. Flowers that seemed to know they were in a competition of bloom. Horses dressed as regal as their riders. I could pull out a list of adjectives here, and repeat and repeat, but I think you get the idea.
The next day, seeing the next castle, my breath that was taken away was perhaps just a little less, and the next day, a little less still, until the next day, when I breathed as normally as going to the grocery store. The tour guide presented the still impressive case of the castle, and we smiled, at each other, thinking, “Sure, but is it the biggest in world?”
Oh, perspective, that big show-stopper! So easily swayed, changed. There was a time when I joyfully painted in the tiny bathroom of my apartment. And I loved it. I cleaned each tile splattered with paint, the paint that was building my heart’s castle, stroke by stroke. I have more space now, here, in the south of France, but it’s the smallest things that still move me the most. The way the color palette of the house and the sea blend together to make a color so inviting, so warm. The portrait of my mother, next to the sketch of Eiffel tower, reminding me that all things are possible. The words of each book stacked with not dreams, but life.
It’s funny, one might think the castles seen would shine a light on what I don’t have, what I don’t possess, but oh, it’s just the opposite. They have shown me everything that I have! Every morning I brush my teeth in front of the little girl blue – the little dancer I painted to remind me that this is a day to show up – this is a day to build a life worthy of visiting, a life worthy of living! I think how lucky I am to love, not this place, but this life. I catch my breath, and keep building.