Luck

If I never get to see the Northern lights
Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night
Oh if all I got is your hand in my hand
Baby I could die a happy man

While trying to manage the endless time and limited mobility that comes with knee surgery and sick leave, I started to check out the top ten songs on iTunes for the day, and in the midst of being surprised that numbers 3 and 4 were both country songs, this line in song number 4 (Die a Happy Man, Thomas Rhett) struck a chord in me.

France, well more like Paris, is a place a lot of people dream of visiting and eventually or never get to see. Here I am having seen the Eiffel Tower lots of times, including twinkling at night in the summertime. I’ve seen it so many times that, even though I still love it, I can forget that it’s extraordinary.

It got me to thinking about luck and living in France. One question I often got when I first moved to France, and sometimes still get, is “Why France/Why Lorraine/Why Poitiers?” or some variation of that. There’s typically a real note not just of curiosity but almost exasperation in the voice of the person asking. Why would an American come here? I used to find it so comical that people didn’t know how beautiful their country was, how exotic even the Lorraine countryside seemed to Americans. Similarly, lots of people complain about Paris without ever seeming to notice that it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

For the kid who grew up in France, Paris isn’t the dream. The dream, the places they hope to one day see, is New York, or Sydney, or Montreal, or Texas. Paris is within arm’s reach; Los Angeles seems unattainable.

My point is that we all have our “lucky” experiences or destinations in our minds, but a simple change of point of view can turn that all around.

Anyone else out there had moments like this?

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2 thoughts on “Luck

  1. Even my short 4 months in Alcala de Henares Spain was super lucky—so beautiful those old streets and buildings. The really lucky part is that I can feel that same way about something old and lovely in San Antonio—at the San Fernando Cathedral they are doing that thing that your town does with its Notre Dame, lighting it up at night, except they use different San Antonian artists’ designs. It is the Hispanic-American version of your beautiful event…

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