When I think of radishes, it takes me back to one of my early trips to Paris to visit Philippe. That may seem a touch odd, but we would often get them as little treats and the particular shape and flavor was not something I’d ever found here. Sure, there were lots of wonderful foods that I discovered in France, but those little packs of radishes were so memorable. Perhaps, looking back, it was less about the food itself and the little ritual of having them as a snack before dinner in that tiny apartment we’d rented. Food has a way of doing that to memories. Taking them from the mundane into something special and perfectly unforgettable. Each bite was a reminder that I was miles away from home, and yet, feeling perfectly at home as well. I didn’t want those moments to end. I didn’t know, at the time, what was going to happen next.
I remember sitting with Philippe at that little kitchen counter in the apartment and sharing a bowl of radishes nearly every day I was there. It was only the beginning of the evening and there was much more interesting food to come, but the radishes signaled the start of it all. At the beginning of that trip, time stood still for the first few days. It was such an incredible feeling to finally be together again. I felt like I was floating and lost in a dream. But, as the days passed, I would soon find myself closer and closer to having to return home. Alone. Worse, was the feeling that this dream we had invented for ourselves wasn’t actually possible. That this was just a moment in time and being together forever was simply a fantasy. But one tends to put thoughts like that to the back of their mind when lost in the middle of something incredible.
That was over 5 years ago, and we’re married now, living on the same continent, and raising an adorably cute yet bitchy basenji. And each day, still feels like a gift. And also proof that even the most impossible dreams can often come true. It just takes heart and determination. Yeah, and maybe just a little bit of crazy optimism. But when you let your heart lead, and your mind wander, incredible things can happen. Even those ridiculous goals that hold little if any chance of ever happening. Those most of all. And if today, I ever find myself taking life for granted, I only have to think back to times less certain. Those doubtful days in a French apartment, quietly ignoring my fears and letting time simply stop, while blissfully enjoying those radishes in Paris.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose, Sennelier Red, Indian Yellow, Phthalo. Green Pale, Phthalocyanine Blue, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!