Having just read our introductory preamble from Elizabeth Gilbert’s delightful book ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘, you may already have given thought to what your personal word might be. Elizabeth and her friend Giulio are discussing the one word that explains Rome. According to Giulio the word is simple – SEX. Elizabeth and he determine that she is not someone to live in Rome because her personal word does not match Rome’s word. At this point in the story Elizabeth does not know what her personal word would be, she just knows it isn’t SEX.
Reading that got me thinking about my own personal word and whether or not it matches the word for the city in which I am currently living. Before I consider the present though, I skip briefly back into my past to acknowledge that over the years there have been different words I’d likely have used as my word. Words such as: innocent, curious, confused, and yes, even SEX was in there for a good portion of the time. I never made it to Rome though. Once I became a mother, nurturing would have been a word I’d use as my own for a time. If Giulio’s theory is correct, then it’s not surprising that while I lived in one city and one city only during my nurturing years, my sons and my own self were all nurtured during our time there. It is also interesting to note that I moved around a great deal in my childhood and adult life. As my own life changed and my word with it, so too did the word of each city in which I found myself. My personal word may have matched in some places . I know it did not match in others. One town I lived in for a mere three weeks. No time to even get to know the word that fit that town, let alone to know if it matched my own word at that time in my life.
And now as I come to my life today, and the town in which I reside – before I let you know if there is a match between the two, I would address the city’s word first. Without hesitation, when I give thought to this word according to Elizabeth and Giulio’s theory, as it applies to the city of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, it is simply and eloquently: Blossom. Whether used as a noun, such as a flower blossom, or as the verb to blossom, either is appropriate for this city of gardens. With the temperate climate all year round, we have flower blossoms even during the winter months when the rest of our country experiences snow and cold temperatures.
For three years prior to moving here, Mike and I lived in a different part of this same province, on the mainland in the semi-arid Okanagan Valley with its mountains, deserts, and incredible lakes. As beautiful as that city and surrounding areas were, I never felt at home there. Guess my word and its word were no match one for the other. Often over the years I was haunted by the memory of one city that I saw for a mere 48 hours during a vacation back in 1986. I fell in love with that city, its beauty and its people. I couldn’t have given you a word for this vacation city back then. But I didn’t have a word for myself back then either. Though if I were to apply a word now for who I was back then, I’d say it was: conformist. I was someone trying to be what I thought others wanted and expected from me. In hindsight it was a sad way to live and yet, had I not had that experience, I’d not have known the sense of contrast that gave me the impetus to change! So I am truly grateful for who I was then.
Today, I live in that amazing vacation city – Victoria – and her word Blossom is indeed the very same as my own. I have been here a mere 16 months, yet I am immersed in her culture, her people, her heartbeat. What a blessed experience and daily joy! My life has blossomed in ways I could not have conceived even two years ago. Though I have always considered myself a writer, since I arrived to live on Vancouver Island and in the city of Victoria, my writing has taken on a depth and quality that has far surpassed even my own hopes and dreams. Before now I felt as though I were always a bud – yet one that had never opened to reveal it’s full potential and inner beauty. I’m feeling that here. I’m feeling that now.
I came to Victoria – the city of blossoms – to do just that: to grow and blossom into the fullness of me. The growth has been and continues to be incredible – the blossoms of myself are lush, plentiful and opulent.
Yes, I’d have to say that Giulio’s theory, for me, holds truth and value. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this concept with us!
I would ask you, Dear Reader, before this post closes for this week, please take the time to review your city and especially to review your own personal word. Is there a match for you? Have you been restless and drawn to the travel bug for no apparent reason? Or are you content with heart and hearth and home? Does any of this resonate with you as well?
Please send us a comment if you would, to let us know – match or no match? Share your word if you dare….
In Light and Laughter,
Follow this link to read Mike’s View.