On my daily search for asparagus, I came across a couple on the path. She was pointing this way and that way. He all the while shaking his head no, and unfolding the map. I continued on the steep side banks. Looking. Bending. Picking.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a map girl. So as he approached me map first, I temporarily stopped my search for asparagus, and looked for patience. I used to run from these situations. Not confident in my language skills. I eventually graduated to pre-apologizing for my French. But then yesterday, I just said, Bonjour. I knew where they wanted to go. I brushed aside the map and pointed out the big rock. The gravel path. Take that left. Follow the road.Turn left again to go up the mountain, or right to get to the river. When I finished explaining, they nodded. But instead of a thank you, she made sure to point out my American accent. That used to hurt my feelings. Sometimes even to tears. Yesterday, I smiled and even laughed a little. “Yeah,” I thought, “But I know where I am…” I wished them a good day, and walked home with my handful of asparagus.
I realize I still am living a life of privilege. I only mention it because it has opened my eyes. When I first started looking for asparagus, I couldn’t see it. Everything looked the same to me. Now, with the “asparagus eye” I can spot it in full stride.
I had never been an other before coming to France. It’s so easy to see when it’s coming at you, harder I suppose when it’s coming out of you. I pray that my empathy has grown. When we know better, we do better. That is the path I hope to travel. Daily.
With my newly found treasure, I made an asparagus tart. It took me an hour to make the puff pastry. Kneading the cold and cubed butter into the flour. Pesto sauce. Parmesan Cheese. Slow baked in the oven. Scents wafting through the house.
Growth takes time. But oh, it can be delicious!