Maybe its the move to a new city, or maybe its the sudden change in season that's caught me off guard, but for the past 2 weeks I've been learning to really see France all over again.
It's really funny how the details of life can totally numb you to the amazing stuff that's in your everyday environment. When I lived in New York I hardly actually lived in New York. For almost 6 years I shopped at Century 21 without ever looking down the block to actually see the World Trade Center. I walked to my Times Square painting studio everyday without stopping to look up Broadway, and for a brief time I took the Staten Island Ferry to work every morning without giving the Statue of Liberty a passing glance. I'm trying desperately not to repeat those mistakes here in this new chapter of my life in France.
Last week, on yet another really chilly day in France, I took a nice walk from Metz Sablon to Centreville with Mademoiselle R (Partly by accident. We got a bit lost.) After a lovely glass of champagne at one of our favorite tea salons, I stumbled home at sunset. Maybe it was the champagne, but that evening I fell in love with France yet again.
Metz in particular has a subtle charm that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. One minute I'm doing something as mundane as wandering around the grocery store looking for garbage bags and then the very next minute I turn the corner and end up walking down the cheese aisle (which is approximately 1.7 kilometers long) and at that very second I realize where I am.
It's so easy to forget sometimes that your everyday life is someone's dream come true. For every gripe I have about this country, there are 10 people that would happily trade places to be right where I am now.
So, from here on out I'm going to make a genuine effort to sleepwalk less through this whole experience of living in France. Here's to hoping that at least once every day I stop and say to myself: "Holy Crap! I Live in France!"