Let’s say you’re walking down a Paris sidewalk and in the distance you see a blonde girl skipping down the street… perhaps doing a set of bells here and there… with a huge-toothy American smile on her face…
That would be moi.
Today was not just a big day for The Kale Project but it also happened be a big day for me as an American living in Paris. For the first time since March (and I think March was a fluke), I feel that my French language skills or just my comfort in this city finally arrived. Perhaps it’s the sun from Cannes or the uplifting Smart Planet article (and beautifully written – thank you Bryan!) that came out on Friday which lifted my spirits and again reminded me that I’m not alone in the search for kale. And one thing I’ve learned about Paris is that when spirits are up, the City of Lights seems like a totally different place.
And today just added to the positive feelings. The second kale seed delivery was more than a success. I woke up to (what I’m now used to) sound of rain pounding down into our courtyard. It was 6am and not the most appealing weather for an early morning wake-up. Let alone a schlep to Vincennes – in Zone 2, east of Paris. It didn’t help that I would be doing this journey alone. No help from The Kale Project supporters or my fluent husband. Just me.
I procrastinated. Folded laundry. Unpacked suitcases. Unloaded the dishwasher. Organized something for a meeting later this week. Anything to avoid heading out and doing something that scared me.
One of the things I’ve learned since moving here is to do one thing each day that scares me – and today this was the thing. Handing off kale seeds to Monsieur Vincennes.
I had the same thoughts I had with Madame Mustard: what if he didn’t remember me? What if he changed his mind and didn’t want to grow kale? Or what if everything was just lost in translation and there was no way we were going to be able to communicate with my lack of French and his lack of English?
And guess what? It went more than well. He remembered me. He smiled at me. He immediately asked for les graines. He was impressed at the paperwork I had ready for him. He was intrigued by the varieties I brought and relieved they were organic seeds.
He told me he is planting them today.
He asked me to come visit his farm.
I accomplished something pretty big – by myself – in French.
All for the love of kale and for the passion to bring kale to all of you.
See? Do one thing every day that scares you. You never know what you’ll get.