When we lived in the US, we were surrounded by beauty, every day. Nature gave us gorgeous views, lush green lawns, tall trees and the endless blue sky. We were spoiled, and often took for granted the amazing sights around us.
Living in the city of Paris, we are surrounded by beauty, but that of a manmade nature. Beautiful architecture, charming cobblestone streets, incredible statues, churches, sculptures--it's all there to be admired, but the thing we miss the most are not made by man.
We are lucky to live in one of the greenest quartiers in Paris. Wide boulevards are made more attractive with medians of green grass and trees. Available space is lined with benches, bricked walkways, and beds of flowers. Parks are popular places, and as soon as the trees start leafing out, the citizens return. But even so, I find myself missing the smell of the freshly turned soil, the fun of watching something I planted grow and prosper under the warmth of the sun.
Earlier this spring, I bought a little kit, which included seeds for fresh basil, oregano and cherry tomatoes, planted in a little tin pot. I carefully followed the instructions, but was disappointed when the tomato sprouts just fell over and died one day, and the herbs never even tried to raise their heads above the soil. "Oh, that's normal. It's hard to get things to grow here, in Paris," the girls' music teacher told me.
As I was walking home from the bus stop last week, I noticed a new crop of plants outside my favorite local florist. I've stopped there before, and love to return when I have a few extra euros in my pocket. The stores smells heavenly, the florists are always smiling and helpful, and their cat comes out to greet all new customers. Hung next to the cash register is a photo of the florists (I believe husband and wife) in black and white, with their smiling faces just peeking out above two flower pots, as if they themselves were the posies.
This time, in amongst the cut flowers were small pots of some of my favorites, the easy to grow impatiens. I passed them for days, thinking of stopping, but the little voice in my head kept echoing "it's hard to get things to grow here in Paris." But as I passed yet again, I felt in my pocket, and found a few euro coins.
It may be petit, but it's my little garden. Enjoy the view.